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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > September, 2008 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2008

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

April 1, 2008 - NIH Research Suggests Stimulant Treatment for ADHD Does Not Contribute to Substance Abuse Later in Life. Treating children as early as age six or seven with stimulants for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not likely to increase risk of substance abuse as adults, according to two studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, the studies also showed treatment with stimulants did not prevent substance abuse later in adulthood. The studies, conducted by researchers at New York University School of Medicine (NYU) and the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Mass General) were published in this month's American Journal of Psychiatry.

April 2, 2008 - NIDA Researchers Identify Genetic Variant Linked to Nicotine Addiction and Lung Cancer. Scientists have identified a genetic variant that not only makes smokers more susceptible to nicotine addiction but also increases their risk of developing two smoking-related diseases, lung cancer and peripheral arterial disease. The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

May 8, 2008 - First Addiction Science Award to be Given to Students at International Science Fair. This year, for the first time, three students will receive awards for exemplary projects in Addiction Science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest science competition for high school students. The Addiction Science award is co-sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company.

May 16, 2008 - Discovery of Possible Link Between Protein Deletion and Addiction Wins Top Honors at ISEF: Texas High School Senior Wins First-Ever NIDA Scholastic Addiction Science Award. An ambitious exploration of the basic mechanisms underlying addiction received top honors in the new Addiction Science category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest science competition for high school students. The project, The Novel Role of the GluCl ; Ion Channel and Diazepam Binding Genes in Alcohol Addiction, was developed by Kapil Vishveshwar Ramachandran, a 16-year-old senior from Westwood High School in Austin, Texas.

May 25, 2008 - Scientists Identify a Brain Mechanism Underlying Persistent Cocaine Craving. Scientists have identified a mechanism in the brain that helps to explain why craving for cocaine, and the risk of relapse, seems to increase in the weeks and months after drug use is stopped. The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study, published in the May 25 issue of the journal Nature, "reveals a novel mechanism for why cocaine craving intensifies after cessation of drug use and suggests a new target for the development of medications to decrease the risk of relapse in abstinent cocaine abusers," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

May 28, 2008 - NIDA to Highlight Latest Drug Abuse Research at Cincinnati Conference. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, will convene a 2-day conference to explore how the latest scientific findings in drug abuse can fill the current gap between research and clinical treatment practices. The conference is part of NIDA's Blending Initiative, designed to stimulate engaging dialogue between those who work with substance abusers in communities with those engaged in the latest treatment research.

June 2, 2008 - NIDA Highlights Best Drug Abuse Treatment Approaches at Blending Conference. The most difficult challenge in finding substance abuse treatment for a loved one is how to know which programs have a proven track record. That is just one of the topics being discussed today at the conference "Blending Addiction Science and Treatment: The Impact of Evidence-Based Practices on Individuals, Families and Communities." Held at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, the conference is hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. It is part of NIDA's Blending Initiative, in which teams of experts create clinical tools based on the latest treatment research.

June 2, 2008 - Clusters of Genetic Variants Linked to Distinct Treatment Responses for Smoking Cessation. Scientists have identified distinct clusters of genetic markers associated with the likelihood of success or failure of two smoking cessation treatments, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and the medication bupropion (Zyban). This study, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was published in the June issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

June 5, 2008 - NIDA Explores Exercise as Drug Abuse Prevention Tool. It is well known that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle but can exercise programs actually reduce the likelihood of drug abuse and thus prevent addiction? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is holding a seminal conference on June 5-6 to explore a possible role for physical activity in substance abuse prevention. As part of this effort, NIDA announced a $4 million grant initiative to spur further research on this emerging area of investigation.

June 30, 2008 - Broad Differences in Alcohol, Tobacco and Illegal Drug Use Across Countries. A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) research consortium found that the United States had among the highest lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use and led in the proportion of participants reporting cannabis (marijuana) or cocaine use at least once during their lifetime. The study, led by Dr. Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and colleagues, looked at patterns in the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and cocaine in 17 countries representing all six WHO regions (the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania). The study, funded in part by NIDA, is published in the July 1, 2008 issue of the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Research News

April 15, 2008 - NIDA NewsScan #52 - Research News

  • Psychological Trait Helps Identify Boys at Risk of Substance Use Disorder
  • Fluoxetine Does Not Add to Benefit of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression in Adolescents with Substance Abuse Disorder
  • "Missing Piece" of Receptor Decreases Effects of Nicotine
  • HCV Infection Associated with Increased Diabetes Risk in Older Persons With or At Risk of HIV Infection, Particularly Obese Individuals
  • Anxiety Sensitivity Impacts Smoking Cessation
  • Adolescent Male Rats Self-Administer Nicotine More Than Their Adult Counterparts

June 9, 2008 - NIDA NewsScan #53 - Research News

  • Intensive Foster Care Program Reduces Delinquency and Improves School Engagement for Girls
  • Intervention Prevents Disruption of Stress Hormone Levels in Preschoolers in Foster Care
  • Health Plans More Likely to Focus on Identifying Enrollees with Mental Illness than Substance Use Disorders
  • Brain Regions Associated with Cue-Induced Cigarette Cravings Independent of Withdrawal
  • Prerelease Treatment with Buprenorphine-Naloxone Reduces Drug Use in Inmates Re-Entering the Community
  • Pharmacology Modules Help Students Learn Basic Science Concepts
  • Methamphetamine Use Increases Risk of Unsafe Heterosexual Behaviors

Interviews & Articles of Interest

March 17, 2008, National Public Radio/"Talk of the Nation" -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about the effects of cognitive-enhancing drugs.

April 3, 2008, Associated Press -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about DeCODE smoking/lung cancer study.

April 7, 2008, Wall Street Journal -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about the science of addiction and drug use on college campuses.

April 14, 2008, CN8-The Comcast Network/"Arthur Fennell Reports" -- Interview with Wilson Compton, M.D. about teen drug abuse trends.

May 21, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, "What Parents Need to Know About Pot," -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about the effects of marijuana on the brain.

June 12, 2008, USA Today, "Report: Marijuana Potency Rises," -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about marijuana potency.

June 21, 2008, National Journal, "Juiced on the Job," -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. on performance-enhancing drugs used in the workplace.

July 9, 2008, SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) - Taped panel discussion that included Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D. for the Road to Recovery broadcast which will air in September during Recovery Month.

July 10, 2008, Bloomberg News -- Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D. about gene variation found linked to early onset smoking.

Dr. Steven Grant, DCNBR, was interviewed by Michael Payne of the APA Monitor for an article on the neurobiology of tobacco addiction on May 1, 2008.

Dr. Steven Grant provided background information about the link between use of marijuana and mental health problems for CNN Medical News on May 6, 2008.

Dr. Joe Frascella, Director, DCNBR, was interviewed for an article in the New Yorker Magazine on drug and other behavioral addictions on August 5, 2008.

Dr. George Uhl, IRP, was interviewed or appeared in several media outlets regarding his article on molecular genetics of successful smoking cessation published in Archives of General Psychiatry including Time, ABC News, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.

Additional Highlights

March 13, 2008 - Dr. Timothy P. Condon highlighted the role of science and the research conducted by NIDA to understand and prevent inhalant abuse at a press briefing on inhalant use hosted by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition in Washington, D.C.

The first ever Addiction Science Awards were bestowed to three high school students as part of the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest competition for high school science projects, that took place in May in Atlanta, GA. Judges included Dr. Cindy Miner and Dr. Ruben Baler from OSPC along with two NIDA grantees, Dr. Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom from Duke and Dr. Michael Kuhar from Emory. Carol Krause, NIDA's communications director, coordinated the judging activities during the competition and arranged for the three winners to travel to NIH on August 11 to meet scientists from NIDA, present their projects to Dr. Volkow and Dr. Zerhouni, and receive their award plaques and prize money.

The PILB press team coordinated a press event at International AIDS Conference, held in Mexico City on August 7, 2008. The press event featured Drs. Nora Volkow and Jacques Normand highlighting HIV/AIDS portfolio and public awareness campaigns, as well as taking questions from the participants. After the media roundtable, ten additional interviews were scheduled, as well as a live interview on CNN Mexico the night before. The media roundtable included reporters from Africa, Colombia, Switzerland and the U.S.

Brain Awareness Week

On August 4, 2008, Dr. Roger Sorensen, DBNBR, presented the exhibit "Welcome to Roger's Party" at the Substance Abuse Education Fair held during the 2008 Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference at the University of Texas at Arlington. Supported by the Turn 2 Foundation, Jeter's Leaders (founded by Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees) is a program designed to promote healthy lifestyles, academic achievement and social change activism among high school students. Students were invited to the exhibit booth for an interactive discussion on the physical and societal harms of substance abuse, and obtained information on drug abuse and addiction through NIDA publications.

Recent and Upcoming NIDA Exhibits at the Following Conferences

National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) 14th Annual Training Conference, St. Louis, MO - 5/28-31/08

NIDA Blending Conference, Cincinnati, OH - 6/2-3/08

American College Health Association (ACHA) 2008 Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL - 6/3-7/08

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Annual Convention, Orlando, FL - 6/13-16/08

Joint Conference of the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) and the Network For the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), Orlando, FL - 6/22-25/08

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 23rd National Conference, National Harbor, MD - 6/26/08-7/1/08

National Association of School Nurses (NASN) 14th Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM - 6/27/08-7/1/08

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Family Medicine Residents and Students National Conference, Kansas City, MO - 7/30/08-8/2/08

American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) 33rd Annual Training Institute, Las Vegas, NV - 8/3-6/08

American Psychological Association (APsychA) 116th Annual Convention, Boston, MA - 8/14-17/08

NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals Annual Conference, Overland Park, KS - 8/28-31/08

NIDA Medicalization Conference, Washington, DC - 9/1/08

12th Annual United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), Miami Beach, FL - 9/18-21/08

Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI) 14th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA - 9/23-25/08

Annual World Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) Conference, Atlanta, GA - 10/16-18/08

American Public Health Association (APHA) 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, CA - 10/25-29/08

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) 55th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL - 10/28/08 - 11/2/08

National Middle School Association (NMSA) 35th Annual Conference and Exhibit, Denver, CO - 10/30/08 - 11/1/08

Treatment Conference, Washington, DC - 12/1/08

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) 19th Annual Meeting and Symposium, Boca Raton, FL - 12/4-7/08


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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