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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > May, 2009 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2009

Research Findings - International Research

Publications by Former NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows

Understanding Post 9/11 Drug Control Policy and Politics in Central Asia
Latypov A. International Journal on Drug Policy. 2009 January 2. [Epub ahead of print]
HHH Fellow: Alisher Latypov, Republic of Tajikistan, 2002-2003
This paper exposes contemporary drug policy challenges in Central Asia by focusing on a single point in the history of drug control, in a single region of the global war against drugs and terrorism, and on one agency whose mission is to help make the world safer from crime, drugs and terrorism. By looking closely at the post 9/11 security-oriented donor priorities, I conclude that, in Central Asia, the rhetoric of the taking a more 'balanced approach' to drug policy is bankrupt. When enacted by the national law enforcement agencies in the Central Asian republics, the 'Drug Free' aspirational goal is driving the HIV epidemic among IDUs. The face-saving 'containment' thesis does not reflect the drug situation in this region but rather the failure to adopt an evidence-based approach. The harm reduction agenda continues to face many challenges including resistance to substitution treatment, the harm from drug treatment, from poorly designed drug prevention programmes and from repressive counter-narcotics policies and practices. PMID: 19121928 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher].

The Characteristics of Depressive Symptoms in Medical Students During Medical Education and Training: A Cross-Sectional Study
Baldassin S, Alves TC, de Andrade AG, Nogueira Martins LA. BMC Medical Education. 2008 December 11;8:60.
HHH Fellow: Arthur Guerra de Andrade, Brazil, 1991-1992
Medical education and training can contribute to the development of depressive symptoms that might lead to possible academic and professional consequences. The authors aimed to investigate the characteristics of depressive symptoms among 481 medical students (79.8% of the total who matriculated). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and cluster analyses were used in order to better describe the characteristics of depressive symptoms. Medical education and training in Brazil is divided into basic (1st and 2nd years), intermediate (3rd and 4th years), and internship (5th and 6th years) periods. The study organized each item from the BDI into the following three clusters: affective, cognitive, and somatic. Statistical analyses were performed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post-hoc Tukey corrected for multiple comparisons. There were 184 (38.2%) students with depressive symptoms (BDI > 9). The internship period resulted in the highest BDI scores in comparison to both the basic (p < .001) and intermediate (p < .001) periods. Affective, cognitive, and somatic clusters were significantly higher in the internship period. An exploratory analysis of possible risk factors showed that females (p = .020) not having a parent who practiced medicine (p = .016), and the internship period (p = .001) were factors for the development of depressive symptoms. The authors conclude that there is a high prevalence towards depressive symptoms among medical students, particularly females, in the internship level, mainly involving the somatic and affective clusters, and not having a parent who practiced medicine. The active assessment of these students in evaluating their depressive symptoms is important in order to prevent the development of co-morbidities and suicide risk. PMID: 19077227 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE].


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