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National Institute on Drug Abuse

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

May, 1997


On February 6, 1997, NIDA co-sponsored a day-long symposium with the journal Hospital Practice (a publication of McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.). The symposium, entitled "New Understandings of Drug Addiction" was chaired by Dr. Alan Leshner. The purpose of this meeting was to bring primary care physicians current information on the biology of drug addiction and its implications for treatment. Proceedings from the symposium were published in a Hospital Practice Special Report which was distributed in April 1997 to over 60,000 practicing physicians.

On Friday April 18, 1997 NIDA co-sponsored with the American Society of Addiction Medicine a day long Symposium entitled "Maximizing Treatment Effectiveness: Applying Research to Practice." This session was held at the annual medical-scientific conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in San Diego California. This was planned by NIDA staff from the Treatment Research Workgroup and the Health Services Research Workgroup as one of the activities for the new NIDA Treatment Initiative. The Symposium was co-chaired by Stephen R. Zukin, M.D., Director of the Division of Clinical and Services Research and Frank Vocci, Ph.D., Acting Director, Medications Development Division.

NIDA organized a "Town Meeting" in Dallas, Texas entitled "Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: Myth vs. Reality" on March 24, 1997. Dr. Leshner and NIDA researchers discussed ways that policy makers, organizations, schools, and communities can utilize the latest scientific research to assess state and local drug problems and develop programs to meet these needs.

On April 1-2, 1997, Institute staff represented NIDA in an NIH Office of AIDS-sponsored FY 1999 Planning Workshop on AIDS Research. Each member worked for several months to prepare a Draft Plan that was finalized at the Workshop. Katherine Davenny and Harry Haverkos, M.D., worked on issues related to the Natural History of AIDS and Drug Abuse; Henry Francis, M.D. (Chief, CMB), worked on Etiology and Pathogenesis, and Vaccines; Jag Khalsa, Ph.D., worked on various aspects of Therapeutics including chemopreventive interventions for HIV/AIDS in drug abusers; and Richard Needle, Ph.D. and Steven Gust, Ph.D., represented NIDA on the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Workgroup.

NIDA Director Alan I. Leshner and Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein held a mini-retreat with CSAT Director David Mactas and CSAT Deputy Director Camille Barry to discuss drug abuse research and the SAMHSA Knowledge Development and Application (KDA) program, December 30, 1996.

On March 20-21, 1997, the Special Populations Office sponsored a two-day research development seminar in Bethesda, MD, for recipients of NIDA minority supplement awards. The workshop provided technical assistance to 15 recipients at the post-doctoral and investigator levels.

On April 21, 1997, the Special Populations Office as part of its Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Initiative held a one-day meeting with HBCU administrators.

On April 15, 1997, as part of NIDA's HBCU Initiative, a half-day university seminar on drug abuse and neuroscience was held at Howard University. Dr. Leshner was the keynote speaker and presentations were made by NIDA grantees and Howard faculty members engaged in drug abuse research.

On February 14-15, 1997, as part of NIDA's HBCU Initiative, a technical assistance workshop was held with faculty members from approximately 10 HBCU.

NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein gave a presentation on what we know about drug abuse before Montgomery County Public School Security Officers at the University of Maryland, Shady Grove Campus, on January 31, 1997.

NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein met with ONDCP Deputy Director, Dr. Hoover Adger and ONDCP Deputy Director for Demand Reduction Ricia McMahon on NIDA's history, goals, mission and research program on February 12, 1997.

NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein was a speaker at the Special Populations Research Development Seminar Series for Recipients of Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities on March 20, 1997 in Bethesda, MD.

NIDA Deputy Director Richard A. Millstein spoke to the newly formed CEWG Advisory Group at its initial meeting on March 26, 1997.

On April 11, 1997, Pamela Goodlow, Special Populations Office, and Arnold Mills, Community Research Branch, presented NIDA's HBCU Initiative at the Twenty-First National Conference on Blacks in Higher Education sponsored by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) in Washington, DC.

On April 18, 1997, Lula Beatty presented at a session on Faculty Research and Training Opportunities in Social and Behavioral Sciences at a national conference sponsored by the National Science Foundation held in New Orleans, LA.

On February 7, 1997, Lula Beatty presented an overview of drug abuse research for the NIH Extramural Scientists program.

On February 28, 1997, Lula Beatty held a round table on drug abuse research at a meeting sponsored by the Office on Ethnic Affairs of the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC.

Lula Beatty attended the meeting of the Committee for Women In Psychology as liaison from the Division of Women, American Psychological Association.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented an overview on NIDA-VA clinical trials research at a VA sponsored meeting entitled The Impact of VA Research on the Management of Substance Abuse Disorders. The meeting was held in Washington, D.C. on February 26, 1997.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented at a workshop entitled Buprenorphine: An Update on its Development at the American Methadone Treatment Association meeting in Chicago on April 14, 1997. Drs. Eric Strain of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Walter Ling of ULLA, and Dr. John Mendelson of UCSF were co-presenters. Dr. Vocci and Mr. Joel Egertson also presented an update on the use of LAAM.

Dr. Frank Vocci and Dr. Steven Zukin (DCSR) co-chaired the NIDA/American Society of Addiction Medicine Symposium entitled Maximizing Treatment Effectiveness: Applying Research to Practice on April 18, 1997 at the ASAM meeting in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Peter Cohen, MDD participated in a Symposium at the annual meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine held on April 18, 1997, entitled Maximizing Treatment Effectiveness: Applying Research to Practice, co-sponsored by NIDA and ASAM.

Dr. David McCann, Chief of the Pharmacology and Toxicology Branch, presented an overview of efforts within the Medications Development Division to a group of approximately 30 journalists on February 19, 1997. The presentation, given at the NIDA Addiction Research Center in Baltimore, was part of a week-long lecture series focusing on the war on drugs.

Dr. Jack Blaine, Chief, Treatment Research Branch, DCSR participated in a meeting in New York City on May 1-2, 1997 to plan the analysis for the Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders Reliability and Validity data from the WHO-NIH Joint Project on Diagnosis and Classification of Mental Disorders, Alcohol and Drug Related Problems.

On April 23-24, 1997, Drs. Lisa Onken and Jack Blaine, both of DCSR, chaired the first meeting of NIDA Stage I investigators whose funding began in fiscal years 1995-1997. The purpose of this meeting was to facilitate NIDA's Stage 1 behavioral therapies development research program. Investigators discussed inherent difficulties in conducting Stage 1 projects, and in progressing from a successful Stage I project to Stage II. Senior Stage I investigators (funded in 1993/1994) were present to share their experience in conducting an early behavioral therapy development research project.

On February 20, Drs. Stephen R. Zukin and Lisa Onken met with representatives of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to discuss NIDA's Treatment Initiative. On March 3, they met with representatives of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors for the same purpose. Both groups provided valuable input to NIDA on the Initiative, and expressed great interest in the Initiative.

On April 15, 1997 NIDA held a meeting on the NIDA-funded Methadone Treatment Quality Assurance Feasibility Study with State Methadone Authority representatives and treatment providers participating in the field trial of MTQAS. This session was held at the American Methadone Treatment Association in Chicago and was co-sponsored by CSAT. The purpose of this meeting was to address the feasibility of developing and implementing a performance-based monitoring system in narcotic addiction treatment to improve program performance and also to discuss using this approach in an accreditation process. NIDA participants included Dorynne Czechowicz, M.D. and James Cooper, M.D. The CSAT participants were Dr. Joyce Johnson, Richard Sampson and Robert Lubran.

On April 16, 1997 NIDA sponsored a workshop entitled "Developing and Using an Outcomes-based Monitoring System In Narcotic Addiction Treatment" at the American Methadone Treatment Association Meeting in Chicago. Representatives from state agencies and providers participating in the NIDA-funded Methadone Treatment Quality Assurance feasibility study field trial participated in the workshop with NIDA staff, Dorynne

Czechowicz, M.D. and James Cooper, M.D. Information was presented on how MTQAS may be used for monitoring and improving program performance.

Dr. Joseph Frascella, Chief of the Etiology and Clinical Neurobiology Branch, Division of Clinical and Services Research, participated in a recent NIDA Research Development Seminar for Minority Supplement Recipients where he gave a presentation on the NIH grant process and served as a faculty mentor. The meeting was held in Bethesda, Maryland on March 21-22, 1997.

Dr. David Shurtleff was a discussant at the National Bureau of Economic Research sponsored meeting entitled The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: An Integration of Econometric and Behavioral Economic Research in Boston, March 27-28, 1997.

Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington chaired a session at the National Bureau of Economic Research sponsored meeting entitled The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse: An Integration of Econometric and Behavioral Economic Research in Boston, March 27-28, 1997.

Dr. Jaylan Turkkan and Dr. David Shurtleff presented a symposium at the University of Maryland College Park about behavioral and cognitive approaches to drug abuse and addiction, including recent program initiatives. The Behavioral Sciences Research Branch will next be traveling to Columbia University, and then to the University of Pennsylvania to interact with faculty and students, and to present information about NIDA's initiatives.

Dr. Jaylan Turkkan attended the annual meeting of Chairmen of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) in Savannah, Georgia, where she presented information about funding opportunities in behavioral and cognitive sciences.

Dr. Jag Khalsa of the Clinical Medicine Branch, DCSR, participated in a NIH-sponsored meeting entitled On the Threshold of Discovery: Merging Science and Supplements to Promote Health, A Strategic Plan for the Office of Dietary Supplements. This was a major meeting where many NIH ICDs were represented to finalize a plan for further research on dietary supplements.

Dr. Peter Delany participated with other NIH representatives on a panel entitled How to Enhance Federal Funding Opportunities at the Annual Program for the Council of Social Work Education in Chicago on March 7, 1997.

On April 7, 1997, Dr. Bennett Fletcher hosted a Health Services Research Seminar on Findings from the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS). Presentations were given by Dr. Fletcher, Dr. Dwayne Simpson from Texas Christian University, Dr. Robert Hubbard from NDRI, and Dr. Douglas Anglin from UCLA. The seminar presented a first look at DATOS post treatment outcomes.

On April 12, 1997, Dr. Fletcher served as a discussant on a panel that presented research on conducting drug abuse treatment cost and cost-effectiveness studies at the Eastern Psychological Association meeting.

On April 18, 1997, Dr. Fletcher presented a paper at the American Society for Addiction Medicine meeting in San Diego describing changes in patients and treatment programs observed in the DATOS study, and the impact of these changes on how drug abuse treatment is delivered.

Dr. Zili Sloboda and Susan David of DEPR chaired two workshops highlighting the prevention research of Karol Kumpfer and Leona Eggert at the national PRIDE conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 6, 1997.

On February 11-13, 1997, Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., MPH, Chief of the Community Research Branch, DEPR participated in the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Interventions to Prevent HIV Risk Behaviors. The purpose of the conference was to examine what is known about behavioral interventions that are effective with different populations in different settings for the two primary modes of HIV transmission: unsafe sexual behaviors and unsafe injection practices.

Peter Hartsock, Dr.P.H., Community Research Branch, DEPR, participated in the NIH Consensus Development Conference on the Management of Hepatitis C, held on March 24-26, 1997.

At the Hispanic Initiative Research Meeting January 28, 1997, Dr. Coryl Jones ERB/DEPR presented a discussion paper on the need to integrate human development research in minority research on drug abuse, particularly socialization of the child in cultural, racial, and ethnic studies.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR was the invited speaker at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Seminar Series held January 29, 1997. Her presentation focused on conceptualizing and operationalizing interdisciplinary drug abuse research and career development.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR, NIDA representative to the Federal Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and member of its Interagency Research Committee on Children, presented a report on the NIDA research portfolio on child abuse at the Fifth Forum on Federally Funded Child Abuse and Neglect Research, March 19, 1997.

On April 28, 1997, Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR, and Dr. Bernie Auchter, National Institute of Justice, in collaboration with representatives of 12 agencies collaborating in the NIH Consortium on Violence Against Women and Within The Family will hold the first annual meeting of senior scientific staff of the grants funded by the Consortium.

Larry A. Seitz, Ph.D., PRB, DEPR, presented at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' Office of Federal Programs Spring Meeting held at the Washington Marriott Hotel on March 17, 1997. This Update on Research Funding in the Area of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention discussed the various research programs and funding opportunities in the area of ATOD prevention.

Dr. Edythe D. London, IRP, gave Grand Rounds Brain Imaging Studies of Substance Abusers at Beth Israel Medical Center held in New York, NY, on February 20, 1997.

Dr. Steven J. Grant, IRP, presented a paper entitled Drug Abusers Show Impaired Performance on a Test of Orbitofrontal Function at the Cognitive Neuroscience

Meeting held in Boston, MA on March 23-25, 1997.

Dr. Steven J. Grant, IRP, gave a seminar entitled Positron Emission Tomography Studies of Cocaine Craving: Cognitive Neuroscience Approach to Addiction at Columbia University, New York, NY on March 26, 1997.

Sari Izenwasser, IRP, presented a lecture entitled Mechanisms of Cocaine Addiction: Relationship to Dopamine Transporter Heterogeneity at Grand Rounds in the Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine.

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