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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

September, 1996

Media and Education Activities

Press Conferences

Press Conference on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's National Heroin Campaign.
On June 17, 1996, Dr. Alan Leshner joined Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Richard Bonnette, PDFA President and CEO in a press conference to release the PDFA's new national heroin campaign. Dr. Leshner's statement focused on the dangers of heroin use and the importance of research as a part of the President's comprehensive drug strategy.

Press Conference to Announce the Findings from the 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and the 1995 Drug Abuse Warning Network. On August 20, 1996, NIDA Deputy Director, Richard A. Millstein participated in a DHHS press conference to announce the findings of the 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and the 1995 Drug Abuse Warning Network. DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala, ONDCP Director, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, and SAMHSA Administrator, Nelba Chavez, released the findings at a Boys and Girls Club in Washington, D.C.

Media Advisories

May 1996: NIDA-Funded Project--BEEMNET--Highlights Brain Awareness Week.
NIDA joined dozens of other Federal and private-sector sponsors in educational activities to mark Brain Awareness Week, May 12-18. The NIDA-funded BEEMNET (Brain Exchange Electronic Mentorship Network) was one unique project featured during Brain Awareness week, organized by the Society for Neuroscience and consisting of more than 100 events across the U.S., Canada and Mexico to educate the public about the impact of neuroscience research on health and human potential.

May 2, 1996: NIDA Seminar to Help With Drug Abuse Prevention in Communities Throughout Ohio. NIDA and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services sponsored a one-day seminar, "Strengthening Communities through Prevention: Applying Research to Policies and Programs." The event, held Thursday, May 9 focused on state-of-the-art approaches to prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse.

May 6, 1996: Messing with Your Head: Cocaine Found to Affect Endorphin Gene in Brain. A quote from Dr. Leshner was included in this news release from the Rockefeller University reporting that the effects of the addictive drug cocaine result, in part, from altering the activity of a gene in the brain. The study by Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek and colleagues was published in the May issue of Molecular Brain Research.

June 7, 1996: New Research May Explain Mechanisms of Abnormalities in Offspring Prenatally Exposed to Cocaine. University of Massachusetts researchers, funded by NIDA, have reported findings of experiments that provide strong evidence that cocaine interacts directly with specific cocaine receptors in the fetal rat brain. The study authored by Lauren Shearman, Lucille Collins, and Jerrold Meyer appeared in the June issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

June 19, 1996: What Can Your Listeners Do About Alcohol and Drug Abuse? A quote from Dr. Leshner was included in this media Advisory from Join Together announcing that Dr. Leshner and Dr. David Rosenbloom, director of Join Together, were available for press interviews while in San Antonio, TX for a Conference: What We Need to Take the Lead: Local Public Policy Matters.

August 2, 1996: ImmuLogic Awarded SBIR Grant to Develop Cocaine Vaccine. A quote from Dr. Leshner was included in this news release from ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corporation announcing it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from NIDA to complete preclinical development of the Company's therapeutic vaccine to treat cocaine abuse.

Other Press Activity

May 1996, Columbus, OH. Dr. Leshner was interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch for an article that appeared the day prior to the NIDA Town meeting in Ohio. While in Ohio, Dr. Leshner held an editorial board meeting with editors of the Columbus Dispatch. Clips from Dr. Leshner's speech were up linked through satellite to television stations throughout the State.

May 17, 1996: McCaffrey, Leshner Address COG Substance Abuse Symposium. A quote from Dr. Leshner was included in the press release issued by the Council of Governments announcing that Dr. Leshner and General Barry McCaffrey would be addressing attendees at the Council of Government's Regional Substance Abuse Symposium.

Letter to the Editor: On June 25, 1996, The Washington Post Health Magazine published a letter to the Editor from Dr. Leshner commenting on the May 7 article "The Detoxification Conundrum." Dr. Leshner's letter corrects and clarifies misinformation given in the article and presents issues of drug addiction that were not addressed in the article.

June 12, 1996, Dr. Leshner participated in an international broadcast for WORLDNET with Latin American Officials addressing the drug problem. The program is one of a series of programs on Narcotics Issues For Latin American And Caribbean Networks. The program was interactive with panelists in Peru, Ecuador, and Barbados.

June 22-27: College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Dr. Leshner was interviewed by several local media outlets during the CPDD Conference. The local English and Spanish dailies carried stories on the Conference and included quotes from Dr. Leshner.

On-Camera Interview - On July 17, Dr. Leshner was interviewed on camera for an ABC News segment on a Nature article on the effects of nicotine and similarity to other addictive drugs. The segment aired on the ABC World News Tonight, July 17.

August 9-13, 1996: Conference on Drug Abuse. There was a significant media presence at the APA/CODA conference. Dr. Leshner was interviewed by a Toronto Radio station following his presentation. Stories appearing in the Toronto daily papers listed drug abuse among key issues being discussed at the conference.

Dr. Alan I. Leshner published recent research findings leading to the development of an anti cocaine medication in his article, "Molecular Mechanisms of Cocaine Addiction, " in the New England Journal of Medicine, 335, pp. 128-129 (July 11), 1996.

Dr. Alan I. Leshner authored a guest editorial for the new journal Molecular Psychiatry 1, pp. 168 169, 1996. Dr. Leshner's editorial, "Drug Abuse and Addiction Research: Implications for the Field of Psychiatry" introduced articles written by three NIDA-supported researchers.

Dr. Alan I. Leshner prepared an Op-Ed piece, "Drug Abuse and Addiction: Roles for the Professional Psychologist", for the "Viewpoint" section of the National Psychologist, an independent bimonthly newspaper which circulates to over 25,000 practitioners nationwide.

On August 13, 1996, the New York Times' science section carried an article devoted to the biological basis of craving and featured the work of a number of NIDA grantees.

NIDA Exhibits

NIDA has exhibited at the following meetings/conferences over the last several months:

American Psychiatric Association
May 4-9, 1996
New York, NY

NIDA/Ohio Dept. Of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services
Strengthening Communities Through Prevention:
Applying Research to Policies and Programs

May 9, 1996
Columbus, OH

National Institutes of Health
Employee Health Fair

May 14-15
Bethesda, MD

Council of Governments
Regional Substance Abuse Symposium

May 17, 1996
Washington, D.C.

Association for Health Services Research
13th Annual Meeting

June 9-11, 1996
Atlanta, GA

American Nurses Association
Biennial Convention

June 15-17, 1996
Washington, D.C.

Association for Health Services Research
13th Annual Meeting

June 9-11, 1996
Atlanta, GA

College on Problems of Drug Dependence
Fifty-Eighth Annual Scientific Meeting

June 22-27, 1996
San Juan, Puerto Rico

100th Annual Convention and Exhibition
National Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

June 22-25, 1996
Washington, D.C.

American Psychological Society
Eighth Annual Convention

June 29 - July 2, 1996
San Francisco, CA

XI International Conference on AIDS
July 7-12, 1996
Vancouver, BC Canada
(Provided publications and other materials for the NIH exhibit)

20th Annual Conference on Addiction Treatment
National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors

July 24-27, 1996
Minneapolis, MN

American Psychological Association
NIDA Conference on Drug Abuse

August 9-13, 1996
Toronto, Canada

National Conference on Treatment Initiatives
National Treatment Consortium, Inc.

August 18-20, 1996
Bethesda, MD

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