August 24, 2011

Continuing the uniquely successful binational agreement between NIDA and the Netherlands, three new research teams have received funding to conduct studies on prevention and treatment interventions. NIDA funds the U.S. researchers; the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) supports the Dutch scientists. The newly funded teams are:

  • Communities That Care (CTC): Sabrina Oesterle, Ph.D., University of Washington, and Harrie B. Jonkman, Ph.D., Verwey-Jonkers Institute, Netherlands, will use randomized controlled trials to compare the implementation of the CTC prevention program in 24 U.S. locations and 10 Dutch locations. CTC addresses risk and protective factors for drug abuse and delinquency at the community level and mobilizes communities to implement evidence-based prevention interventions that target those factors. In addition to measuring the influence of CTC measures on youth outcomes, the researchers will assess whether implementation of CTC leads to changes in the local community coalitions and prevention systems. More broadly, the team also will examine the contextual sensitivity and generalizability of CTC and assess whether differences in national policies, cultures, and contexts result in differences in implementation.
  • Smoking Cessation: Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D., Yale University, and Reinout Wiers, Ph.D., University of Amsterdam, will combine basic science findings on impulsivity and state-of-the science behavioral treatment research to study whether approach avoidance training in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in helping adolescent smokers stop using tobacco. The team will confirm whether adolescent smokers and nonsmokers differ in approach-avoid tendencies toward tobacco stimuli, and whether smokers can be trained to avoid approaching tobacco stimuli. If the new work shows promise in adolescents, Yale staff will consider adapting it to their Computer-Based Training for Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT4CBT) program.
  • Relapse Prevention: Daniel Langleban, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, and Wim van den Brink, M.D., Ph.D., University of Amsterdam, will conduct a pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging study of the effects of 3 months of depot naltrexone treatment on the brain response to visual drug cues in 40 opiate-dependent subjects. The team will attempt to validate pilot observations of earlier studies and identify the clinical value of using proposed neurophysiological correlates in future treatment assessments.