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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

September, 2000

Media and Education Activities


NIDA's Treatment Solutions Video won the 2nd Place Silver Screen Award in the International Film and Video Festival in the category of Medicine, Health: Current Issues. The 33rd annual awards competition received over 1,600 entries from 30 countries.

NIDA's Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment received an Award for Publication Excellence in the APEX 2000 12th Annual Competition for Communications Professionals sponsored by Communications Concepts, Springfield, VA. The awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence. NIDA competed against some 4,900 entries.

NIDA's Mind over Matter website was rated "Spectacular!" and awarded five stars in the March 2000 syndicated newspaper column "Surfing the Net with Kids" by Barbara J. Feldman. The column appears in many papers nationally, including San Diego Union-Tribune, Indianapolis Star News, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Contra Costa Times, and Winston-Salem Journal.

NIDA's Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment website was awarded the Star Rating from the Awesome Library. Sites included in the Awesome Library are among the top 5% of sites in the field of K-12 education.

Press Releases

April 14, 2000 - NIDA Announces Multimedia Public Education Initiative Aimed at Reversing Rise in Use of Anabolic Steroids by Teens. NIDA's partners in the initiative include the National Collegiate Athletic Association, American College of Sports Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses, National Federation of High Schools, International Students in Action, and Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of MTV's Loveline and In addition to launching a new website - - NIDA is distributing 250,000 copies of a Community Drug Alert Bulletin about anabolic steroids and 150,000 copies of an updated report that explains what research has shown about anabolic steroids and their effects as well as approaches to prevent the use of these drugs. Some 500,000 postcards with messages about the harmful effects of steroids were distributed in nearly a thousand locations nationwide. As a result of this event, coverage appeared in USA Today, Time,, Your Health Daily, Fox News, The Oregonian, San Antonio Express-News, Associated Press, Reuters Health, CBS HealthWatch, Keeping Well, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly.

May 2, 2000 - Drug Use, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C: A Public Health Emergency. The media advisory announced the meeting, "Bringing It All Together: Drug Use, HIV, and Hepatitis," hosted by NIDA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Baltimore on May 9, 2000. At this meeting, NIDA released a Community Drug Alert Bulletin on Hepatitis C designed to provide information to the public and health professionals on the intertwined problems of substance abuse and diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. As a result of this event, coverage appeared in Yahoo! News.

June 8, 2000 - Urban Researchers Who Track Drug Use Will Meet in Baltimore, June 13-16: Their Frontline Reports Offer Early Warning of National Trends. This save-the-date announced the 48th meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG). NIDA sponsors the CEWG, which met in Baltimore to discuss current and emerging patterns and trends in drug abuse. The CEWG, established by NIDA in 1976, is a network of researchers and public health officials from 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas and the state of Texas. The group meets twice a year to discuss current patterns and trends of drug abuse. As a result of this event, coverage appeared on Fox News.

June 14, 2000 - Study Shows a Combination of Antabuse and Buprenorphine May Be Effective in Treating Those Addicted to Cocaine. A study in the Spring 2000 issue of Biological Psychiatry reported that combining buprenorphine, an alternative to methadone for treating opiate addiction, with disulfiram (marketed as Antabuse and used in treating alcoholism) was more effective than buprenorphine alone in reducing cocaine use in persons with this dual addiction. Coverage of this publication appeared in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly, Join Together Online, Yahoo! News, and Reuters Health.

June 15, 2000 - Researchers Announce Latest Findings on Drug Dependence and Abuse. This media advisory announced that the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) was holding its annual meeting of more than 1,000 researchers worldwide to announce the latest findings on drug abuse related to adolescents, gender differences, technology, and treatment. The meeting was held from June 17-23, 2000, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a result of this event, coverage appeared in HHS-HEO News.

June 20, 2000 - Study Finds Marijuana Ingredient Promotes Tumor Growth, Impairs Anti-Tumor Defenses. Researchers reported in the July 2000 issue of the Journal of Immunology that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive component of marijuana, can promote tumor growth by impairing the body's anti-tumor immunity system. While previous research has shown that THC can lower resistance to both bacterial and viral infections, this is the first time that its possible tumor-promoting activity has been reported. Coverage of this publication appeared in USA Today,, (UK), and Join Together Online.

June 22, 2000 - All About GHB: Scientific Meeting to Focus on Research about Date Rape Drug. This media advisory announced the scientific meeting convened by NIDA on June 27, 2000, in Rockville, MD, to focus on research about the drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). The drug, which has sedative effects, has been associated with sexual assaults in cities across the country. The meeting facilitated scientific dialogue about the following: GHB use, pharmacology and toxicology; the roles of endogenous GHB in the normal brain and in neurological disorders; and the therapeutic potential of GHB. As a result of this event, coverage appeared in WebMD, and USA Today.

June 26, 2000 - Cocaine and Alcohol Combined Are More Damaging to Mental Ability Than Either Drug Alone. Scientists found that cocaine abuse coupled with use of alcohol leads to more impulsive decision-making and to poorer performance on tests of learning and memory than does use of either cocaine or alcohol alone. The negative effects on the ability to think clearly persist for at least a month after the substance use stops, according to an article about the study in the June 27 issue of Neurology. Coverage of this publication appeared in ScienceDaily Magazine, EurekAlert!, and Join Together Online.

June 30, 2000 - Conferences in South Africa to Focus on the Role of Drug Use in HIV Transmission. Prior to the 13th International AIDS Meeting in Durban, South Africa, researchers met in three separate forums to discuss the role of drug use in the transmission of HIV/AIDS. On July 5-7, 2000, a consortium of international organizations sponsored the third annual Global Research Network (GRN) Meeting on HIV Prevention in Drug-Using Populations. NIDA had a pivotal role in creating the GRN and in supporting its continuation. The agenda for this meeting was designed to facilitate the global diffusion and application of research-based principles on effective HIV prevention strategies for populations of injecting and non-injecting drug users around the world.

Opinion Pieces/Letters

April 2000, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Newsletter - Article adapted from keynote speech for the 6th Annual Meeting of SRNT - "NIDA Director's Message: 'We Want You to Do More'"

May/June 2000, Primary Care Practice - Article by Alan I. Leshner - "The Disease of Addiction"

Articles of Interest

March 23, New York Times - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "New Campus High: Illicit Prescription Drugs"

April 2000, Connection (Association for Health Services Research) - Interview of M. Patricia Needle - "International Trends in Drug Abuse Services Research"

April 2, 2000, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Interview of Timothy P. Condon - "Teens Find 'Club Drugs' Anywhere; Accessibility Makes Them a Chief Threat"

April 12-13, CBS HealthWatch, ABC News, HealthScout, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, CNN, and MSNBC - Interviews with Alan I. Leshner and Jacques Normand - Re: Brook, J.S., Brook, D.W., and Whiteman M. "The Influence of Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy on the Toddler's Negativity," Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 154, Apr 2000, pp 381-5.

April 19, 2000, USA Today - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Feds Crack Down on Ecstasy"

April 21, 2000, Psychiatric News - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "NIDA Drug-Treatment Guide a Hit with Addiction Experts"

April 21, 2000, The Chronicle of Higher Education - Interview of Alan I. Leshner and Frank Vocci - "In the Nation's Battle Against Drug Abuse, Scholars Have More Insight Than Influence"

April 26, 2000, - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Immunized Against Addiction"

May 3, 2000, JAMA - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "NIDA Seeking Data on Effect of Fetal Exposure to Methamphetamine"

May 5, 2000, Psychiatric News - Interviews of Alan I. Leshner - "Innovative NIDA Program Tests New Treatment Methods" and "NIDA Moves Proactively on Growing 'Club Drug' Menace"

May 5, 2000, Join Together Online - Interview of Nicholas Kozel - "Researchers Provide 'Heads-Up' on Emerging Drug Trends"

May 7, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Substance Abuse: Having to Grasp for Treatment"

May 16, 2000, London (AP) - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Study: Ecstasy Drug May Dull Mind"

May 21, 2000, Chicago Tribune (Family Adviser) - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Ways to Tell If a Child Is Using Drugs"

May 31, 2000, USA Today - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Heroin's New Fix and Why It Matters to You"

June 2000, New Scientist - Interview of Frank Vocci - "What Do You Do for Kicks?"

June 5, 2000, Time - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - " The Lure of Ecstasy"

June 20, 2000, Health Oasis (Mayo Clinic) - Interview of Stephen Zukin - "Date-Rape Drugs: Keep an Eye on That Drink"

June 23, 2000, The Detroit News - Interview of Nicholas Kozel - "Drug Users Flood Hospitals"

June 23, 2000, - Interview of Timothy P. Condon - "Meth Infants Called the New 'Crack Babies:' Doctors See Spike as Drug's Popularity Rises"

June 24, 2000, The New York Times - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Seeing Drugs as a Choice"

June 28, 2000, USA Today - Interview of Jerry Frankenheim - "Time Out on Ecstasy"

July 2000, NASW News - Interview of Peter Delany - "Grants Facilitate Drug Abuse Research"

July 12, 2000, Village Voice - Interview of Frank Vocci - "New Vaccines May Drug-Proof Kids: Injecting Big Brother"

July 13-14, 2000, CBS HealthWatch, Newsday - Interviews with James Colliver-Re: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well - Being 2000 (issued by NICHD)

August 2000, YM Magazine - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Poisoned at the Party"

NIDA Exhibits Program

Meetings where NIDA exhibited publications and program announcements over the past several months are as follows:

May 31-June 2, 2000 Third Bi-National Drug Demand Reduction Conference
June 1-3, 2000 National Association of Drug Court Professionals
June 3-7, 2000 National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
June 3, 2000 NIH Health Fair
June 8-11, 2000 American Psychological Society
June 14-18, 2000 The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness
June 17-22, 2000 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
June 23-28, 2000 American Nurses Association Biennial Convention and Exposition
June 24-27, 2000 104th Annual National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association
June 28-July 1, 2000 24th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
July 1-5, 2000 National Council of La Raza Annual Conference
July 12-15, 2000 23rd Annual Association on Higher Education and Disability
July 19-21, 2000 National Association of Hispanic Nurses
August 1-2, 2000 DEA Conference
August 4-8, 2000 American Psychological Association
August 6-11, 2000 The World Congress on Tobacco OR Health

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