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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2004

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

April 28, 2004 - NIDA Announces 8th Annual PRISM Award Winners
The winners of the 8th Annual PRISM Awards were announced at The Hollywood Palladium. Presented by the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), in partnership with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services (NIDA), the PRISM Awards recognize accurate depictions of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction in television, feature film, music and comic book entertainment.

April 30, 2004 - NIDA NewsScan #30

  • NIDA Partners With American Psychiatric Association (APA) for Research-Based Track on Drug Abuse at 2004 APA Annual Meeting
  • Medication for Multiple Sclerosis May Help in Treating Cocaine Addiction
  • Study Finds Bupropion May Be Effective Smoking Cessation Aid for Women
  • Adopting 12-Step Philosophy May Enhance Treatment Outcomes of Individual & Group Counseling for Cocaine Addiction
  • Co-Occurring Disorders Increase Risk of Suicide Attempt by Adolescents
  • Examining Motivational Interviewing in Drug Abuse Therapy
  • Study Finds Combination Therapy Successful for Treating Depression in Injection Drug Users
  • Bupropion, Counseling May Help Youth With ADHD Stop Smoking
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Care Providers Should Be Prepared for High Prevalence of Severe Co-Occurring Disorders

May 4, 2004 - New Research Study in JAMA shows Adult Marijuana Abuse and Dependence Increased During 1990s.
In an article that appeared in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), addiction researchers at the National Institutes of Health compared marijuana use in the U.S. adult population in 1991 - 1992 and 2001 -2002. They found that the number of people reporting use of the drug remained substantially the same in both time periods, but the prevalence of marijuana abuse or dependence increased markedly. This new study showed that increases in the prevalence of abuse or dependence were most notable among young African-American men and women and young Hispanic men.

July 9, 2004 - NIDA NewsScan #31 - Funding News

  • NIH Roadmap: Re-Engineering the Way Science Is Done
  • Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network (RFA-RM-04-017)
  • Epidemiology of Drug Abuse (PA-04-100)
  • Collaborative Clinical Trials in Drug Abuse (PAR-04-073)
  • Research on Rural Mental Health and Drug Abuse Disorders (PA-04-061)
  • Psychopharmacology of Widely Available Psychoactive Natural Products (PA-04-084)
  • Enhancing State Capacity To Foster Adoption of Science-Based Practices (RFA-DA-05-002)
  • Prescription Drug Abuse (PA-04-110)

July 19, 2004 - NIDA NewsScan #32

  • Study Sheds New Light on Mechanism Behind Stimulant Medication for ADHD
  • PET Study Highlights Mechanism Involved in Nicotine Craving
  • Antiseizure Drug May Help Treat Cocaine Addiction
  • Cocaine Craving Activates Different Brain Regions in Women
  • Adolescent, Adult Rats Respond Differently to Nicotine and Nicotine-Related Environments

Articles of Interest

July 19, 2004, Reuters -- "Stronger Pot May Make Reefer Madness Real, U.S. Fears" — Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

July 22, 2004, Nature -- "A Hard Habit to Break" — Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

July 25, 2004, The Baltimore Sun -- "Ecstasy Research Looks for Benefits"—Interview with Glen R. Hanson Ph.D., D.D.S.

Educational Activities

DEA Museum Foundation Exhibit at One Times Square
Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is joining several Federal and private agencies in a museum exhibit coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum Foundation. The exhibit, Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause, is housed on the first three floors of a prime location in New York City—One Times Square—from September 14, 2004 through February 1, 2005. NIDA's expertise in The Science of Addiction will be featured in several panels on Floor 2 of the exhibit. In addition, NIDA has developed information and graphics for a large photomural wall and a large "Memorial Wall" to individuals—famous and ordinary—who have lost their lives to drug abuse or addiction. Other agencies involved in the project include DEA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the National Guard, the Association of Retired Narcotics Agents, Pokemon, and Hewlett-Packard. The entrance floor of the exhibit will feature DEA-related topics such as Production and Trafficking. Although the exhibit is strongly geared toward students, large attendance by the general public is expected because of the location. The exhibit is free, and open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. throughout the week.

New "Brain Power!"
This fall, NIDA will be launching the second in the Brain Power! Junior Scientists education series. The new Brain Power! was developed for use by kindergarten and first grade students. It consists of a series of five lessons that include an introduction to science, how students can become scientists, an introduction to the brain, how to keep your brain healthy and how to protect your brain. Each lesson includes classroom activities with suggestions for discussion, assessment, and extensions, as well as resources for teachers and students. Also included is a parent newsletter in both English and Spanish that can be copied and sent home. The materials will be distributed free to grades K-1 across the country.

Award for "Reconstructors"
The NIDA funded science education project "Reconstructors" received a "Best at the Conference" award at the International EdMedia Conference. This project developed an interactive and entertaining web site for middle school children on opiates. Leslie Miller, Ph.D., the PI on the project, is currently developing a similar site on club drugs.

Data and Safety Monitoring Board Guidelines
To assist grantees conducting or planning to conduct clinical trials that require monitoring by a Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), NIDA developed guidelines to establish and operate a DSMB, in accordance with NIH requirements. The purpose of the DSMB is to monitor the safety of participants and the validity of results of clinical trials that involve multiple data collection sites, large sample sizes, or pose significant risk to the participants. Grant applicants must submit a general description of the DSMB plan as part of the research grant application. The Scientific Review Group will review the DSMB plan as part of the initial DSM plan and any comments or concerns will be included in the summary statement. A detailed DSM plan that includes a DSMB plan must be submitted to and approved by NIDA before the trial begins. The responsibility for compliance with the DSM plan rests with the grant recipient. The guidelines provide an overview of the NIH policies for data and safety monitoring, the charge of the DSMB, and methods to establish and operate a DSMB.

Several CTN protocol-training activities took place during this period for the new protocols prior to implementation.

NIDA Staff Interviews

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (DPMCDA) conducted an interview with Helen Pearson of Nature Magazine on May 21, 2004.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted an interview with Marc Kaufmann of the Washington Post on June 10, 2004 regarding abuse liability of opiate analgesics.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted a telephone interview with David Hamilton at the Wall Street Journal's San Francisco Bureau on June 25, 2004. The interview was regarding abuse resistant painkillers.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted a telephone interview with Vince Beiser of the LA Times on June 29, 2004 regarding Ibogaine.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted an interview with Ian Daley on July 6, 2004 regarding pharmacological and immunological treatments for cocaine dependence.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted an interview with Eddie Dean on July 8, 2004 regarding the nicotine vaccine and smoking cessation treatments.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Eric Hand of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on July 20, 2004 regarding the development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of PCP overdose and methamphetamine overdose.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted a telephone interview with Christopher Whyndham of the Wall Street Journal on July 29, 2004 regarding development of vaccines for nicotine dependence and cocaine dependence.

Dr. Frank Vocci conducted an interview with Malcolm Ritter of the Associated Press on July 29, 2004 regarding medications for the treatment of cocaine dependence.

On July 31, 2004, Dr. Ro Nemeth-Coslett was interviewed by ABC World News for an upcoming story on the entertainment gaming industry's role in health.


National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors/National Prevention Network June 5-9, 2004
Complexities of Co-Occurring Conditions June 23-24, 2004
American Nurses Association Biennial Convention June 25-29, 2004
National Congress of Parents and Teachers Annual Convention June 26-28, 2004
Association on Higher Education and Disability Annual Conference July 13-17, 2004
American Psychological Association Annual Convention July 28-August 1, 2004
National Prevention Network Prevention Research Conference August 22-24, 2004
Latino Behavioral Health Institute 10th Annual Conference September 21-23, 2004
NIDA Blending Clinical Practice and Research September 27-28, 2004
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors October 6-9, 2004
American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition October 9-13, 2004
American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence Conference October 17-20, 2004
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry October 19-24, 2004
Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans October 21-24, 2004
Society for Neuroscience 34th Annual Meeting October 23-28, 2004
American Public Health Association 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition November 6-10, 2004


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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