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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2002

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

April 8, 2002 - NIDA NewsScan

  • Special Issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology
As a result of NewsScan promotion, coverage appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

April 9, 2002 - Significant Deficits in Mental Skills Observed in Toddlers Exposed to Cocaine Before Birth. A study conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland found that children exposed to cocaine before birth were twice as likely to have significant delays in mental skills by age 2, compared to other toddlers with similar backgrounds but whose mothers had not used cocaine during pregnancy. According to the researchers it is probable that these cocaine-exposed children will continue to have learning difficulties and an increased need for special educational services when they reach school age. The study was published in the April 17, 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Coverage of this release appeared in Women's Health Weekly, The Boston Herald, National Public Radio, Associated Press and Substance Abuse Letter.

April 24, 2002 - Research Yields New Insights into Molecular Control of Addiction. In research employing fruit flies, scientists at the University of Arizona have provided new insights into how molecules may control addiction, memory formation, and brain plasticity. Their research has provided the first evidence that the molecule AP1, which helps to regulate changes in the manufacture of certain proteins in brain cells, also is required for long-term changes in the function of synapses (the connections between brain cells). This NIDA funded study was published in the April 25, 2002 issue of Nature. Coverage of this release appeared in The Sun Herald and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

May 1, 2002 - Study Quantifies Cost-Benefit of Family Interventions Designed to Prevent Adolescent Alcohol Use. Iowa State University researchers have calculated that brief family intervention programs designed to discourage teen drinking are both beneficial and cost-effective. Their study found that each dollar spent on intervention programs for adolescents was returned many times over in savings by preventing future costs associated with alcohol problems in adulthood. The research was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol. Coverage of this release appeared in Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

May 10, 2002 - 6th Annual PRISM Award Winners. "Blow," starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, received the PRISM Award in the Theatrical Feature Film category at the 6th Annual PRISM AwardsĒ held May 9, 2002 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. Other PRISM's were awarded to ABC's "My Wife and Kids" and "All My Children," Lifetime's "The Division," NBC's "Third Watch," and ABC's "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows." A PRISM also went to Ozzy Osbourne for his song "Junkie" in the Music Recording or Music Video category, one of two new categories to receive a PRISM this year. Independent films "Acts of Worship" and "Smoke and Mirrors: A History of Denial" were the recipients of the other new category, the PRISM Film Festival Award, which is presented to films that have not yet been released but are playing the festival circuit. In total, 14 winners were selected out of 56 nominees and 236 submissions. Coverage of this event appeared in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Associated Press, The Hollywood Reporter, The Washington Post and Entertainment Tonight.

May 28, 2002 - Substance Abuse Increases in New York City in Aftermath of September 11th. Survey results indicate that smoking, alcohol and marijuana use increased among residents of Manhattan during the five to eight weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Almost one-third of the nearly 1,000 persons interviewed reported an increased use of alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco following the terrorist attacks. The largest increase was in alcohol use. The survey results appear in the June 1, 2002 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Coverage of this release appeared in Associated Press, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Join Together Online, Sun-Sentinel, Reuters Health Information, and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

May 28, 2002 - NIDA NewsScan

  • Dopamine May Play Role in Cue-Induced Craving Distinct from Its Role Regulating Reward Effects
  • Long-Term Cognitive Impairment Found in Crack-Cocaine Abusers
  • Neuronal Differences in Brain Regions Involved in Decision-Making and Other Functions Observed for the First Time in Chronic Users of Cocaine
  • Drug Used in Treatment of Alcoholism May Have Role in the Treatment of HIV

June 5, 2002 - Study Reports Preliminary Findings Related to Methamphetamine. Scientists from The Ohio State University are examining the interaction between methamphetamine use and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) to determine whether such research may offer insights that would aid in developing treatments for drug-using individuals who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In their study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurovirology, the researchers found that methamphetamine exposure significantly increased the replication of FIV in certain brain cells called astrocytes, suggesting that the amount of FIV also may be increased in the brain. Astrocytes comprise the largest cell population in the brain, and provide structural and physiological support for brain neurons. Coverage of this release appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Nature, The Columbus Dispatch, United Press, AIDS Weekly, Washington Fax and Associated Press.

June 6, 2002 - Scientists Gather in Quebec to Discuss Drug Abuse. More than 1,000 scientists and physicians met at the 64th annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) in Quebec City, Quebec, to discuss the latest research findings on drug abuse and dependence. The conference, partially sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, was held June 8-13, 2002 at the Hilton Hotel and the Quebec City Convention Center.

June 24, 2002 - NIDA NewsScan

  • Journal of General Internal Medicine Produces Special Issue on Substance Abuse
  • Cocaine Use Linked to Poor Adherence To Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Patients
  • Physicians, Residents Report Experiencing Less Professional Satisfaction in Treating Substance-Abusing Patients
  • Integrated Medical/Substance Abuse Treatment Increases Likelihood of Patients' Continuing Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Needle-Exchange Program Found to Reduce Emergency Room Visits Among Intravenous Drug Users

As a result of NewsScan promotion, coverage appeared in AIDS Weekly, Virus Weekly and Medical Letter on the CDC and FDA.

July 7, 2002 - Exposure to Hepatitis C Has No Effect on Antiretroviral Treatment Outcomes in HIV Patients. A study of HIV-infected patients in Baltimore, Maryland, revealed that individuals seropositive for hepatitis C had similar clinical outcome measures when treated with antiretroviral drug regimens compared to seronegative patients. These findings were presented in a press conference at the XIV International AIDS Conference held in Barcelona, Spain, July 7-12, 2002. Coverage of this release appeared in Los Angeles Times, Newsday, United Press and The Advertiser.

July 8, 2002 - NIDA to Host Satellite Meetings on HIV & Drug Use at the XIV International AIDS Conference. Under the auspices of the XIV International AIDS Conference held in July 2002, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) hosted a series of satellite meetings to highlight the latest national trends and scientific findings by leading researchers on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. Coverage of this event appeared in The Washington Times.

July 11, 2002 - NIDA Launches New Publication For Researcher-Provider Dialogue. NIDA launched Science & Practice Perspectives, a new publication that promotes a practical, creative dialogue between researchers and treatment providers. Published twice a year, the exchange of information, observations, and insights is expected to help clinicians maximize their programs and treatment outcomes, while helping researchers construct new hypotheses and design studies relevant to the needs of providers and patients. Coverage of this release appeared in Join Together Online.

Articles of Interest

May 1, 2002, Reason Online - "Hungry for the Next Fix" - Interview with Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.

May 30, 2002, - "Beefing Up While Forfeiting Health" -Interview with Dr. Linn Goldberg.

June 4, 2002, The Washington Post - "The Real Dope" - NIDA mentioned.

June 9, 2002, The Washington Post - "Breaking Out of the 12-Step Lockstep" - NIDA mentioned.

June 10, 2002, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly - "Study Finds Link Between Methamphetamine, HIV-Dementia" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

June 11, 2002, USA Today - "Heroin Withdrawal Drug Proves Successful" - Interview with Frank Vocci, Ph.D.

July/August 2002, Health - "Ecstasy for Agony" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

Dr. Frank Vocci has been working as a scientific consultant to BioSci Ed, a group that publishes a magazine YOUR WORLD on biotechnology for 7th to 12th grade students. An issue in the fall will be devoted to drug abuse and alcohol effects on the brain.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mr. Randy Schmid of the AP on June 10, 2002 on the efficacy results of the multi-center Lofexidine trial.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mr. Andy Coghlan of New Scientist magazine on June 12, 2002 regarding the nicotine vaccine research that NIDA is funding.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mr. John Keilman of the Chicago Tribune on July 3, 2002 regarding the development of buprenorphine and buprenorphine/naloxone for the treatment of opiate dependence.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mr. Todd Mundt of NPR on July 11, 2002 regarding the development of the nicotine vaccine.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Kitta McPherson of the New Jersey Star Ledger on July 19, 2002 regarding the progress made in the understanding of the neurobiology of addiction and how this is influencing new directions in treatment research and medications development.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Elaine Cooper of Better Homes and Gardens magazine on July 26, 2002 regarding the potential utility of the nicotine vaccine.

NIDA Exhibits Program

July 3-6, 2002 National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
July 7-12, 2002 XIV International AIDS Conference
July 8-12, 2002 Association of Higher Education and Disability
July 17-19, 2002 National Association of Hispanic Nurses
July 20-24, 2002 National Council of La Raza Annual Conference
August 22-25, 2002 American Psychological Association Annual Conference
September 3, 2002 NIDA CTN Annual Meeting
September 9-11, 2002 National Conference on Tobacco or Health 2002
September 24-26, 2002 Latino Behavioral Health Institute
September 26-29, 2002 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
October 1, 2002 NIH Share the Health
October 1, 2002 Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
October 22-27, 2002 American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
November 1, 2002 American Indian Science and Engineering Society
November 2-7, 2002 Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference


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