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NIDA

Addiction Science

Why Take a Drug That No Longer Gives Pleasure?

In mice, a cocaine-induced imbalance in the activity of two key populations of neurons in the reward system persists for a longer period after repeated exposure to the drug. For long-term users, this change could both weaken the cocaine “high” and strengthen the compulsion to seek the drug.

NIDA redesigns Easy to Read and Learn the Link websites for mobile devices

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has redesigned two of its websites, Easy to Read and Learn the Link, for use on mobile devices.


NIH launches landmark study on substance use and adolescent brain development

The National Institutes of Health today awarded 13 grants to research institutions around the country as part of a landmark study about the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain.


Grant Awards Mark the Launch of Landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study

Reposting a blog from the Collaborative Reseach on Addiction (CRAN) site by Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA), George Koob (Director, NIAAA), Alan Guttmacher (Director, NICHD), Bob Croyle (Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NCI), Thomas Insel (Director, NIMH), and William Riley (Director, OBSSR).

Brain Imaging Predicts Relapse to Cocaine

A NIDA-supported study has found that a cocaine-addicted person’s chance of managing 1 whole year of abstinence correlates with activity levels in these impaired motivational and decision-making brain areas.

Addiction Science Can Help Us Understand the Bee Crisis

The collapse of bee colonies around the world has received much publicity lately. It is a trend with alarming implications given bees’ crucial role in pollinating many agricultural crops, and some researchers have attributed it, at least in part, to widespread use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. These are chemically related to nicotine, and they are thought to challenge the health of bee colonies by impairing bees’ ability to learn and navigate as well as impairing their motor functioning.

Do rats prefer palatable foods over meth?

Recent research has shown that most rats will choose non-drug rewards (palatable foods) over self-administering cocaine, if given the option.  A new study by researchers at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program examined whether such a preference generalizes to rats with a history of limited or extended access to another stimulant drug, methamphetamine. 

Addiction Is a Disease of Free Will

When I was five or six years old, my grandfather—my mother’s father—died of what I was always told was complications of heart disease. It was not until much later, after I had completed my medical training in psychiatry, and had already been working for a long time using neuroimaging to study the addicted brain, that I learned the real reason for his death.

Stress Hormone Sets the Stage for Relapse to Cocaine Use

A stressed rat will seek a dose of cocaine that is too weak to motivate an unstressed rat. Researchers traced the physiological pathway that links stress and the stress hormone corticosterone to increased dopamine activity and heightened responsiveness to cocaine.

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