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NewsScan for November 5 - 2002

Special Issue of NewsScan Focuses on NIDA Funding News

NIDA Announces FY 2002 Grants to Support Research in Four Areas: Substance Abuse in Criminal Justice Settings; Inhalant Abuse; Substance Abuse Prevention; and Community-Based Treatment

NIDA and Other Agencies Establish Research Network to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment Services in Criminal Justice Settings

NIDA has taken the lead in building a unique multi-agency consortium to improve drug treatment services for drug using offenders. NIDA has awarded eight grants and is providing about three-fourths of the $4.1 million committed to funding the first year of the program. Additional support is being provided by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and by the National Institute of Justice, Drug Court Program Office, and Bureau of Prisons of the Department of Justice.

Dr. Glen R. Hanson, NIDA’s Acting Director, says, “The establishment of the NIDA National Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Study is an outstanding example of cooperation among Federal agencies to provide a much needed service. Each year, some 600,000 inmates—the majority of whom have substance abuse problems—are released back into the community, often without having received drug abuse treatment in prison. Left untreated, drug addicted offenders often relapse to drug use and return to criminal behavior.”

The goal of the new National Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Study (CJ-DATS) is to establish and utilize a research infrastructure to develop and test models for an integrated approach to the treatment of incarcerated individuals with drug abuse or addictive disorders, including both treatment in jail or prison and treatment as part of re-entry into the community.

A Coordinating Center and seven Research Centers, each serving a specific geographic area, will be supported by the grants. The Research Centers are:

  • National Development and Research Institute, Inc. (NDRI), New York, New York (Region: Rocky Mountains). Harry K. Wexler is the principal investigator.
  • UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Program, Los Angeles, California (Region: Pacific Coast). Michael L. Prendergast is the principal investigator.
  • Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies, University of Delaware (Region: Mid-Atlantic). James A. Inciardi is the principal investigator.
  • Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Region: Connecticut). Linda K. Frisman is the principal investigator.
  • Lifespan Hospitals, Providence, Rhode Island (Region: Rhode Island). Peter D. Friedmann is the principal investigator.
  • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas (Region: Southwest). D. Dwayne Simpson is the principal investigator.
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington (Region: Central States). Carl G. Leukefeld is the principal investigator.
  • The University Maryland in College Park has been selected as the CJ-DATS Coordinating Center. This Center, headed by Faye S. Taxman, will play a central role in establishing a working consortium of policymakers, researchers, and practitioners representing criminal justice, drug treatment, and other health and social service fields, and will provide the infrastructure for the CJ-DATS initiative.

Each Center will work in concert with each other and with NIDA to conduct multi-site and nationwide criminal justice-based treatment services research. The CJ-DATS will forge partnerships among NIDA, drug treatment and criminal justice researchers, criminal justice professionals, drug abuse treatment practitioners, and other health and social service providers who are involved in helping criminal justice-involved drug abusers return to their communities as productive, law-abiding members of society.

The studies that will be conducted by CJ-DATS will be designed and conducted in three phases over a total of 5 years. The first phase will include the establishment of a Steering Committee and development of a study plan, including planning to develop and test treatment system models. Phase II will involve pilot testing of the data collection instruments, treatment service delivery strategies, and the research plans. Preliminary data will be analyzed and the study plans will be revised according to findings from the pilot projects. Phase III will see the implementation of multi-site research studies that test integrated drug abuse treatment models that will be implemented at the selected sites, including jails, prisons, and community treatment settings.

These awards were made in response to a Request for Applications, “National Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Services Research System,” issued by NIDA in February 2002.

NIDA Grants Will Improve Knowledge about Inhalant Abuse

In 2001, approximately 2 million youths between the ages of 12 and 17 reported that they had tried inhalants at some time in their lives. While inhalant abuse is one of the most prevalent drug problems among young people in the United States, relatively little research has been conducted on inhalant abuse.

To help remedy this lack of knowledge, NIDA has awarded more than $2 million to fund seven grants focusing on issues related to inhalant abuse.

“Inhalants are widely abused by youngsters due to their easy accessibility through household products, as well as their low cost,” says NIDA Acting Director Dr. Glen R. Hanson. “Furthermore, inhalant drug abuse poses definite dangers to the health of young children, including cognitive, neurological and physiological disorders, and the threat of sudden death, yet there is a severe paucity of research-based information about the problem.” he adds.

The new research will focus on:

  • The epidemiology of inhalant abuse—the nature and extent of inhalant abuse, who is abusing them, and why, and the abuse of different types of inhalants in different age groups;
  • Individual risk and protective factors related to the initiation of inhalant use;
  • The effects of maternal inhalant abuse on the developing fetus; and
  • The health consequences of inhalant abuse.

Awards were made to the following investigators:

  • Ty Ridenuor, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, Inhalant Abuse and Dependence;
  • Diana H. Fishbein, RTI, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Precursors, Insulators, and Consequences of Inhalant Use;
  • Diana J. Walker, University of Chicago, A Model of Inhalant Abuse Using Inhalant Responders;
  • Samuel J. Gately, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, Feto-Maternal Pharmacokinetics of Abused Inhalants;
  • Ruth W. Edwards, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, Inhalant Use Among Rural Children: A Multicultural Study;
  • Ho-Leung Fung, State University of New York at Buffalo, Toxicokinetics and Toxicodynamics of Nitrite Inhalants; and
  • Matthew O. Howard, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri, Neuropsychiatric Impairment in Adolescent Inhalant Abusers.

These awards were made in response to a Request for Applications, “Inhalant Abuse: Supporting Broad-based Research Approaches,” issued by NIDA in November 2001.

$4.5 Million Awarded to Create Community Drug Abuse Prevention Trials Network

Four grants totaling more than $4.5 million have been awarded to conduct clinical trials that will test science-based drug abuse prevention interventions. These trials will accelerate research on the processes and mechanisms that contribute to the adaptation and implementation of drug abuse prevention models and will examine prevention delivery factors such as organization and management practices and financial strategies that foster the sustainability of such models in community settings.

According to NIDA Acting Director Dr. Glen R. Hanson, “While there have been studies evaluating various drug abuse prevention interventions, very few studies have looked at the processes and mechanisms associated with the successful implementation of these interventions in communities. The field trials to be conducted under these grants will begin to fill that gap.”

The field trials will study processes and mechanisms that influence the successful adoption, adaptation, and sustainability of programs at the community level. Each grantee under this initiative will study one science-based drug abuse prevention intervention in several experimental and control sites.

The grantees are:

  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon; Early Family-Centered Prevention of Drug Use Risk. This multi-site prevention study targets parenting practices in early childhood to reduce later risks of substance abuse. Thomas J. Dishion is the principal investigator.
  • The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Field Trial of Effects of the Coping Power Program. This field trial will examine whether Coping Power, a delinquency/drug abuse prevention program, can be effectively implemented by existing staff in a variety of urban school settings. John E. Lochman is the principal investigator.
  • Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, Oregon; Implementing Parent Management Training in Norway. This international collaboration will study a field trial initiated and funded by the Norwegian government to teach parents child-rearing practices that prevent deviant child behavior and promote healthy family development. Marion S. Forgatch is the principal investigator.
  • Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Promoting Fidelity using Remote and Onsite Support. This project will test the relative effects of two training conditions to maintain the fidelity of a research-based prevention curriculum during implementation. Christopher L. Ringwalt is the principal investigator.

These awards were made in response to a NIDA Request for Applications, “NIDA National Prevention Research Initiative: Community: Multi-Site Prevention Trials,” issued in December 2001. The RFA is one of three components of NIDA’s new National Prevention Research Initiative. The other components focus on supporting basic research to develop new directions in drug abuse prevention interventions and the establishment of transdisciplinary prevention research centers.

NIDA Initiative Designed to Make Substance Abuse Treatment More “Community Friendly”

According to a 1998 Institute of Medicine study, despite the availability of a number of effective behavioral treatments for alcohol and drug abuse, research-based treatments have not been adopted widely into community clinical practice.

NIDA has awarded seven grants totaling almost $2 million to support research that will identify ways to ease the adaptation of effective behavioral therapies into community-based treatment settings. In turn, some of the more promising therapies that emerge from these grant awards will be able to be funneled into NIDA’s National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) for more extensive testing of their application with diverse populations nationwide.

“A major barrier to the adoption of research-based, effective behavioral treatments by community treatment
providers is that these treatments may not be ‘community friendly’,” said NIDA Acting Director, Dr. Glen R. Hanson.

“Instead, treatments are often too lengthy, costly, complex, or difficult to integrate with the care feasible in a community setting, where resources are often limited.”

This new research will be directed at adapting existing, effective behavioral therapies into community treatment settings, or to prepare for such adaptation by identifying key components or mechanisms of effective therapies so that these can be preserved when therapies are incorporated into community settings. Additionally, innovative methods of delivering treatment will be developed and tested.

The awardees are:

  • University of Miami, Miami, Florida; Brief Family-Based Therapy for Adolescent Drug Abuse. This project tests a brief (8 sessions) version of a more lengthy, proven-to-be-effective family therapy intervention that targets substance abuse and other HIV risk behaviors in adolescents. Howard A. Liddle is the principal investigator.
  • University of Pennyslvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Community-Friendly Manual Guided Drug Counseling. This project will focus on creating and testing a “community-friendly” manual-based individual plus group drug counseling package to treat cocaine users. Paul Crits-Christoph is the principal investigator.
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Computer-Based Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Researchers will develop and test an individualized, interactive, computer-based training program for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) designed for direct access by patients. Kathleen M. Carroll is the principal investigator.
  • Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Community Reinforcement Through Religious Communities. This study tests a community-reinforcement approach to treating African American women who are abusing cocaine. Kimberly C. Kirby is the principal investigator.
  • McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts; Modifying Group Therapy for Bipolar Abusers. This study will adapt an efficacious intervention for drug abuse treatment from an individual to a group modality, so that it can be implemented in community settings. Roger D. Weiss is the principal investigator.
  • UMDNJ-Robert W. Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey; Modifying MET for Use with ASI Data. This project will develop and test a computer-assisted Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) intervention.
  • Douglas M. Ziedonis is the principal investigator.
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York; BCT for Drug Abuse: A Group Therapy Approach. This study will develop and test a version of Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT) that can be conducted in a multi-couple group. William Fals-Stewart is the principal investigator.

These awards were made in response to a NIDA Request for Applications, “Modifying and Testing Efficacious Behavioral Therapies to Make Them More Community Friendly” issued in December 2001.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and further information on NIDA research can be found on the NIDA web site at

For more information about any item in this NewsScan:

  • Reporters, call Stephanie Older at 301-443-6245.
  • Congressional staffers, call Geoffrey Laredo at 301-594-6852.
  • All studies described can be obtained through PubMed.

To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s new DrugPubs Research Dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH (1-877-643-2644) or 240-645-0228 (TDD), or fax or e-mail requests to 240-645-0227 or Online ordering is available at NIDA’s new media guide can be found at

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