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Medical Consequences

Prenatal Cocaine Exposure Increases Monkeys' Impulsivity Into Adulthood

Prenatal drug exposure can have behavioral effects that last well into adulthood, according to two studies of adult monkeys prenatally exposed to cocaine. In the first study, drug-exposed monkeys exhibited less flexibility than controls in adjusting to changing circumstances; in the second study, drug-exposed males exhibited a greater preference than controls for having rewards right away, a sign of impulsivity.

Research Focuses on Groups With High Smoking Rates

NIDA Director Nora Volkow
Dr. Volkow discusses NIDA’s efforts to develop effective antismoking treatments for populations with persistently high rates of smoking, such as people with psychiatric disorders, high school dropouts, and Native Americans.

Marker for Neuronal Damage Resolves a Year after Methamphetamine

New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.

Substance Abuse Among Older Adults

NIDA Director Nora Volkow

Understanding and responding to drug abuse among America’s aging population becomes more urgent as a growing percentage of baby boomers enter the over-50 age bracket.

Letter from the Director

The abuse of methamphetamine—a potent and highly addictive stimulant—remains an extremely serious problem in the United States. According to data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 12 million people (4.7 percent of the population) have tried methamphetamine at least once. NSDUH also reports that approximately 1.2 million people used methamphetamine in the year leading up to the survey.

Letter from the Director

The so-called "club drug" MDMA continues to be used by millions of Americans across the country, despite evidence of its potential harmful effects. 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ecstasy) has gained a deceptive reputation as a "safe" drug among its users. This illegal drug, which has both stimulant and psychedelic properties, is often taken for the feelings of well-being, stimulation, and the distortions in time and sensory perceptions that it produces.

Methamphetamine Abuse Undermines Dental Health

Describes research that sheds light on the correlation between increased dental disease and methamphetamine abuse.

Drugs Contribute to High Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Juvenile Offenders

Describe a study of newly arrested youths where researchers found correlations between the youths' prevalence of these sexually transmitted diseases and their cocaine and marijuana use.

Stress Response May Underlie African- Americans' Reduced Pain Tolerance

Summarizes research suggesting a physiological difference as the explanation for African-Americans' reported low tolerance for pain.

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