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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2003

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

May 2, 2003 -- NIDA NewsScan #22

  • Real-Time Monitoring of Dopamine Activity in Brain Helps Explain How Environmental Cues Contribute to Cocaine Relapse
  • Starting Marijuana Use in Mid-Teens or Younger May Result in Cognitive Impairment Later in Life But Reasons are Unclear
  • Study Finds Lobeline Reduces Self-Administration of Methamphetamine in Rats
  • Sigma Receptors Play Role in Cocaine-Induced Suppression of Immune System

May 8, 2003 -- NIDA Announces 7th Annual "PRISM" Award Winners. Val Kilmer, Neve Campbell, Bernie Mac, John Spencer, Tim Matheson and Noah Wyle received PRISM Awards for individual performances in film and television at the 7th Annual PRISM Awards ceremony which was held May 8 in Hollywood. This is the first time that actors have been recognized for outstanding performances since the award show's inception. Presented by the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), in partnership with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, the 7th Annual PRISM Awards recognize accurate depictions of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction in television, feature film, music and comic book entertainment.

May 23, 2003 -- NIDA NewsScan #23

  • PRISM Award Winners Announced in Hollywood Ceremony
  • Treatment for Cocaine Addiction May Reduce HIV Risk
  • Study Finds Link Between Inflammatory Protein and Heart Disease Among Cocaine Users
  • HIV Patients Who are Older, Free of Cognitive Deficits, and Do Not Abuse Drugs Comply Better with Medication Schedules
  • Immigrant Status and Country of Origin Important in Compiling Smoking Prevalence Statistics
  • Behavioral Treatment May Reverse Brain Changes that Occur with Cocaine Use and Help Prevent Relapse

June 13, 2003 -- Scientists Gather to Discuss Advances in Drug Abuse Research. More than 1,000 scientists met June 14-19 in Bal Harbour, Florida, at the Sixty-fifth Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) to discuss their latest findings on drug abuse and addiction.

July 11, 2003 -- NIDA NewsScan #24
Special Issue of NewsScan Focuses on NIDA Funding News

  • NIDA to Fund Medication Development Units
  • NIDA Seeks New Funding Solicitations for Proteomics Research
  • Behavioral Therapies Program (PA-03-126)
  • Women Gender Differences and Drug Abuse (PA-03-139)
  • Cutting Edge Basic Research Awards (PAR-03-017)

July 30, 2003 -- NIDA NewsScan #25

  • New Vaccine Reduces Behavioral Effects of Nicotine
  • Drugs of Abuse and Stress May Cause Similar Changes in the Brain
  • Patients Pay Greater Portion of Costs for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Than for Medical Services in Many Managed Care Plans
  • Individuals With Medical Conditions Related to Alcohol or Drug Abuse Benefit From Integrating Medical and Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Genetics, Shared Environment Have Little Impact on Choice of Commonly Abused Drugs
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence Publishes Position Statement on Opioid Use and Abuse
  • Methamphetamine Abuse May Cause Functional Abnormalities in the Brain

August 11, 2003 -- New Compound That Acts on Peripheral Receptors May Be Promising Treatment for Some Nerve Pain. A new study in mice and rats showed that a compound which acts on a specific type of cell receptor outside the central nervous system decreases the animals' pain responses. But the researchers caution that studies investigating the safety and efficacy of this compound in humans have yet to be done. The scientists hope this approach may lead to the development of pain-relief drugs that lack the debilitating central nervous system side effects limiting the effectiveness of currently available pharmaceuticals.

Articles of Interest

May 1, 2003, Psychiatric Times--"Bringing New Medications to the Treatment of Addiction" -- Article by Frank Vocci, PhD.

June 22, 2003, London Times--"Genetic Addiction: Is There a Cure?" -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

July 4, 2003, Science-- "New Head of Drug Institute is Wired for Action" -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

August 19, 2003, New York Times-- "A Scientist's Lifetime of Study Into the Mysteries of Addiction" -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow M.D.

August 21, 2003, Washington Post- "Revolutionary Thinker" -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

Dr. Ivan Montoya, DTR&D, was interviewed for the Spanish-speaking TV channel Telemundo on public health issues concerning the development and use of the nicotine vaccine.

Educational Activities

As part of its ongoing commitment to provide schools with science-based information about drug abuse and addiction, NIDA is mailing a host of innovative classroom materials developed for elementary, middle school, and high-school students and teachers to hundreds of schools across the United States. The initiative entitled NIDA Goes Back-to-School will raise awareness on NIDA's classroom materials, which provide accurate, science-based information about drugs and their health effects, as well as making learning and science fun for children and adolescents. The first mailing is expected to begin in September 2003.

NIDA for Teens Website -- NIDA has launched the brand new website that focuses on the science of drug abuse and addiction. Features include the latest research findings on drugs of abuse, personal stories from teens, publications, and activities for students.

To bring awareness about the effects of drug use on the most vulnerable populations -- children and adolescents -- as they returned to school, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) partnered with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to release, "Practical Theorist 5: Marijuana Abuse: Using Science for an Effective Community Response." The release of the Practical Theorist coincided with the presentation of CADCA's Humanitarian of the Year Award to P. Anthony Ridder, Chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, Inc. Mr. Ridder was recognized for his commitment to CADCA's Drug Free-Kids Campaign, which seeks to improve the lives of youth by raising corporate America's awareness of substance abuse issues and community efforts to keep youth drug free. The award ceremony took place on Sept. 16, 2003, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.


September 2003: Hispanic Heritage Month Event
September 8-9, 2003: NIDA Blending Clinical Practice and Research
September 14-17, 2003: National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
September 23-25, 2003: Latino Behavioral Health Institute
October 2003: NIH Share the Health: An Exposition of Health Resources from NIH to its Neighbors
October 2-5, 2003: Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science
October 14-19, 2003: American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
October 15-18, 2003: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students
October 18-21, 2003: Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
November 4-8, 2003: American Society of Human Genetics
November 5-8, 2003: Joint Meeting of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse and the International Nurses Society on Addictions
November 8-11, 2003: Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference
November 15-19, 2003: American Public Health Association
November 20-23, 2003: American Indian Science and Engineering Society
November 22-24, 2003: Employee Assistance Professionals Association Annual Conference
December 9-12, 2003: National Conference on Tobacco or Health 2003


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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