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Home > Publications > Director's Reports > May, 2005 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2005


NIDA Publications

National Survey Results on Drug Use — Overview of Key Findings 2004
NIH Pub. No.: 05-5726

This publication provides a concise review of the findings of the Monitoring the Future Study and comparison of data from previous years.

Problems of Drug Dependence 2004: Proceedings from the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
NIH Pub. No.: 05-5290

This publication is more than just a "proceedings" from a meeting-it is valued as one of the only research tools and references for scientists and other professionals in the drug abuse field. It is the most comprehensive gathering of scientific information on all aspects of substance abuse and is invaluable to researchers and other scientists.

Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse — Community Epidemiology Work Group, Volume II — June 2004.
NIH Pub. No. 04-5365A

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the epidemiologic trends and special reports for a limited audience made up primarily of drug abuse researchers who utilize this volume to identify potential areas for further research.

Research Report Series: Heroin Abuse — Revised
NIH No.: 05-4165

This publication provides science-based information on the prevalence of heroin abuse, methods of use, short- and long-term effects of heroin abuse, and medical complications of chronic abuse. It also describes effective treatment for heroin addiction and lists resources for more information.

Research Report Series: Marijuana Abuse -- Revised
NIH No.: 05-3859

This publication discusses the consequences of marijuana use, the effects of using, and peripheral issues such as medical uses.

NIDA Notes

NIDA Notes Volume 19 Issue No. 5
NIH Pub. No.: 05-3478

In the Director's column, Dr. Nora Volkow discusses the increase in misuse and abuse of prescription medications by adolescents and adults. The lead article reports on two recent studies showing that the age of initiation and the pleasure of response to marijuana in adolescence foreshadow adult outcomes. This issue also reports on The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which has found that inhalant abuse by teenagers is on the rise. In another story, NIDA-supported economists are offering drug treatment program administrators the comprehensive Drug Abuse Treatment Costs Analysis Program, which features a method to put dollar values on the full range of treatment resources. In the final research article, a recent NIDA study provides no confirmation for previous findings that MDMA (Ecstasy) abusers develop problems recalling words, but suggests that heavy use of the drug does cause persistent deficits in mental processing speed and problem solving. Research News covers a NIDA-sponsored conference on lipids, the messenger molecules crucial for the regulation and control of biological processes including those influencing the effects of drugs on cell function. The Bulletin Board reports on the eighth annual PRISM Awards, sponsored by NIDA in recognition of the entertainment industry's serious treatment of destructive social issues surrounding drug abuse in film and television. This feature also highlights the appointment of six new members to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. The Tearoff article describes NIDA's latest Research Report on MDMA abuse, part of the continuing effort to provide science-based information to the public.

NIDA Notes Volume 19, Issue No. 6
NIH Pub. No.: 05-3748

The Director's Column addresses health disparities in minority populations compared with the White population, and introduces NIDA's Health Disparities Initiative, which is a three-pronged approach to understanding and researching these differences. The Initiative will expand support of training and career development programs for minority scientists, focus the research agenda to help researchers reach underrepresented populations and study responses to drugs and the consequences of drug abuse in these populations, and disseminate research results to the widest possible audience. The lead article highlights a pilot study on the use of topiramate to help cocaine-addicted outpatients remain abstinent from the drug. Currently used to treat seizure disorders, topiramate helped study participants stay off cocaine longer than control subjects; 60% of patients taking topiramate attained 3 or more weeks of continuous abstinence compared with 26% of those taking placebo. The researchers found that topiramate seems to change the brain's response to cocaine by indirectly influencing dopamine through two other neurotransmitter systems-GABA and glutamate. Additional studies are planned to further evaluate the efficacy of topiramate as a treatment for addiction.

Other research findings include:

  • Contrary to previous assumptions, NIDA-funded scientists have found that it takes very little experience with cocaine to establish environmental associations that become powerful cues for cocaine relapse. After exposure to a 2-hour session of access to cocaine, rats continued seeking the drug when cued for up to a year after access had been extinguished. A similar experiment using sweetened condensed milk, a highly palatable food to rats, failed to produce similar long-term cravings.
  • A review of the 2000 and 2001 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse revealed that adolescent inhalant abuse was more likely in the presence of specific behaviors, such as stealing, fighting, or carrying a handgun. Based on the traits the researchers identified, they concluded that adolescents with inhalant abuse or dependence disorders comprise a subgroup of highly troubled youths with multiple vulnerabilities. Girls were just as likely to abuse inhalants as boys, a finding that contradicts most conventional patterns of drug abuse.

The Bulletin Board focuses on two researchers who received awards at the 2004 Society for Neuroscience conference. Dr. Antonello Bonci received the second annual Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative research in Drug Abuse and Alcoholism for his work on the long-term changes in brain cells that underlie addictive behaviors. Dr. Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom received the annual Science Educator Award for her curriculum models that help high school students learn the biology and chemistry underlying drug addiction. The Tearoff presents results of the most recent Monitoring the Future survey.

CTN-Related Publications

During the months January-April, 2005, eight editions of the CTN Bulletin Board were distributed. The Bulletin Board is an electronic report on the progress of the protocols, committees, and node activity in the CTN.

A patient recruitment brochure was approved for CTN Protocol - HIV and HCV Intervention in Drug Treatment Settings (CTN-0017) and printed for distribution throughout the Network.

Other Publications

Sussman, S., Stacy, A.W., Johnson, C.A., Pentz, M.A. and Robertson, E. A Transdisciplinary Focus on Drug Abuse Prevention: An Introduction. Substance Use & Misuse, 39(10-12), pp. 1441-1456, 2004.

Martin, S. E. and White, H.R. Introduction to Still at Risk for Drug Abuse: Transitions, Risks, and Opportunities for Prevention of Drug Abuse during Emerging Adulthood Journal of Drug Issues 35(2) pp. 229-234, 2005.

Sussman, S., Stacy, A.W., Johnson, C.A., Pentz, M.A. and Robertson, E. A Transdisciplinary Focus on Drug Abuse Prevention: An Introduction. Substance Use & Misuse, 39(10-12), pp. 1441-1456, 2004.

Vocci, F. and Elkashef, A. Pharmacotherapy and Other Treatments for Cocaine Abuse and Dependence. Curr Opin Psychiatry 18, pp. 265-270, 2005.

A special supplement to the journal, Addiction, Volume 100 reporting on the results of clinical studies of potential cocaine treatment medications undertaken under the Cocaine Rapid Efficacy Screening Trials (CREST) program of the Clinical Medical Branch, Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, NIDA was published in March 2005. The authors and articles contained are listed below:

Shoptaw, S., Watson, D.W., Reiber, C., Rawson, R.A., Montgomery, A., Majewska, D. and Ling, W. Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Cabergoline, Hydergine and Levodopa/ Carbidopa: Los Angeles Cocaine Rapid Efficacy and Safety Trial (CREST).

Leiderman, D.B., Shoptaw, S., Montgomery, A., Bloch, D.A., Elkashef, A., LoCastro, J. and Vocci, F. Cocaine Rapid Efficacy Screening Trial (Crest): A Paradigm for the Controlled Evaluation of Candidate Medications for Cocaine Dependence.

Berger, S.P., Winhusen, T.M., Somoza, E.C., Harrer, J.M., Mezinskis, J.P., Leiderman, D.B. Montgomery, M.A., Goldsmith, J., Bloch, D.A., Singal, B.M. and Elkashef, A. A Medication Screening Trial Evaluation of Reserpine, Gabapentin, and Lamotrigine Pharmacotherapy of Cocaine Dependence.

Winhusen, T.M., Somoza, E.C., Harrer, J.M., Mezinskis, J.P., Montgomery, M.A., Goldsmith, J. Coleman, F.S., Bloch, D.A., Leiderman, D.B., Singal, B.M., Berger, P. and Elkashef, A. A Placebo-Controlled Screening Trial Of Tiagabine, Sertraline, and Donepezil As Cocaine Dependence Treatments.

Reid, M.S., Casadonte, P. Baker, S., Sanfilipo, M., Braunstein, D., Hitzemann, R., Montgomery, M.A., Majewska, D., Robinson, J. and Rotrosen, J. A Placebo-Controlled Screening Trial of Olanzapine, Valproate, and Coenzyme Q10 / L-Carnitine for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence.

Reid, M.S., Angrist, B., Baker, S., Woo, C., Schwartz, M., Montgomery, M.A., Majewska, D., Robinson, J. and Rotrosen, J. A Placebo-Controlled Screening Trial of Celecoxib for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence.

Elkashef, A., Holmes, T.H., Bloch, D.A., Shoptaw, S., Kampman, K., Reid, M., Somoza, E., Ciraulo, D., Rotrosen, J., Leiderman, D., Montgomery, M.A. and Vocci, F. Retrospective Analyses of Pooled Data From Crest I and Crest II Trials.

Ciraulo, D.A., Knapp, C., Rotrosen, J., Sarid-Segal, O., Ciraulo, A.M., LoCastro, J., Greenblatt, D.J., Leiderman, D. Nefazodone Treatment of Cocaine Dependence With Comorbid Depressive Symptoms.

Kampman, K.M., Leiderman, D., Holmes, T., LoCastro, J., Bloch, D.A., Reid, M.S., Shoptaw, S., Montgomery, M.A., Winhusen, T.M., Somoza, E.C., Ciraulo, D.A. and Elkashef, A. Cocaine Rapid Efficacy Screening Trials (CREST), Lessons Learned.

Ciraulo, D.A., Sarid-Segal, O., Knapp, C.M., Ciraulo, A.M., LoCastro, J., Bloch, D.A., Efficacy Screening Trials of Paroxetine, Pentoxifylline, Riluzole, Pramipexole and Venlafaxine In Cocaine Dependence.

Reid, M.S., Angrist, B., Baker, S.A., O'Leary, S., Stone, J., Schwartz, M., Leiderman, D., Montgomery, M.A., Elkashef, A., Majewska, D., Robinson, J. and Rotrosen, J. A Placebo Controlled, Double-Blind Study Of Mecamylamine Treatment For Cocaine Dependence In Patients Enrolled In An Opiate Replacement Program.


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