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Cocaine

Stress Receptor Mediates Lifelong Consequences of Early Trauma

NIDA-supported research suggests that glucocorticoid receptor levels during early brain development affect the hard wiring of neural circuits that shape an individual’s basic emotional makeup. In mice, overexpression of the glucocorticoid gene in the first weeks after birth increased anxiety and response to cocaine in adulthood. These findings may help researchers understand the genetic background and the developmental trajectory of addiction.

Animal Research Advances Effort to Develop Vaccines Against Cocaine, Heroin Abuse

New vaccines that aim to promote recovery from cocaine and heroin abuse showed promise in animal testing. Both vaccines induced rats’ immune system to produce high titers of antibodies that inhibit the target drug from reaching the brain. The rats’ behaviors when given access to the target drug indicated that the vaccines reduced the reinforcing effects that, in recovering people, can cause lapses to turn into relapses.

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.

Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award

Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.

Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year

Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

Physical Activity Reduces Return to Cocaine Seeking in Animal Tests

Two independent animal studies suggest that aerobic exercise might help cocaine abusers establish and maintain abstinence.

Tobacco Smokers Have High Probability of Transition to Dependence

First-time smokers have a much higher chance of eventually becoming dependent than first-time users alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine.

Study provides clues for designing new anti-addiction medications

Scientists are now one step closer to developing anti-addiction medications, thanks to new research that provides a better understanding of the properties of the only member of the opioid receptor family whose activation counteracts the rewarding effects of addictive drugs.


NIDA creates easy-to-read website on drug abuse

A new, easy-to-read website on drug abuse designed for adults with a low reading literacy level (eighth grade or below) was launched today by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.  The si


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