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Almost one-third (32 percent) of the roughly 42,000 Monitoring the Future survey respondents reported having used marijuana during their lifetime. However, abuse of many other drugs—methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and some prescription medications—declined.
Methamphetamine alters brain structures involved in decision-making and impairs the ability to suppress habitual behaviors that have become useless or counterproductive. The two effects were correlated, indicating that the structural change underlies the decline in mental flexibility.
Teen mothers on three American Indian reservations improved on several measures of parenting after participating in Family Spirit, a home-visiting intervention developed with NIDA support. At 12 months postpartum, the women’s children exhibited reduced rates of emotional difficulties predicting later drug abuse and other behavioral problems. Infants at highest risk—those whose mothers had histories of drug abuse—benefited the most.
Ketoprofen, an anti-inflammatory agent commonly prescribed to treat arthritis, reduces neuronal damage in rats that have been exposed to chronic stress and methamphetamine. If this finding of a recent NIDA-supported study extrapolates to humans, anti-inflammatory medications may gain a place in the treatment of methamphetamine addiction.
Dr. Marilyn Huestis of NIDA’s Intramural Research Program talks about conducting research on drug effects with human subjects, developing tests to help law enforcement identify drugged drivers, and an assay to help identify children whose prenatal exposure to anti-HIV drugs may put them at risk for adverse developmental outcomes.
Study findings indicate that children exposed to methamphetamine prenatally show more signs of increased emotionality, anxiety, and depression than nonexposed children at ages 3 and 5 years.
New results extend previous findings that some methamphetamine-induced neuronal damage resolves after a year of abstinence.
Reports on a new medication strategy under investigated in animal studies that shows promise for preventing relapse to drug abuse.
Reports on 2009 data indicating a rise in drug abuse in the United States and the factors that may have contributed to this increase.
Reports on research investigating whether certain medications might strengthen patients' understanding and memory retention.
Reports animal study findings on development of an antibody fragment that rapidly removes methamphetamine from the brain and discusses implications for treatment of overdose.
Describes research providing evidence that chronic methamphetamine abuse is associated with increased microglial cell activity in the brain leading to neurodegeneration.
Highlights research showing methamphetamine abusers may have more difficulty than nonabusers in responding with empathy and self-control to people who are experiencing intense emotions.
Highlights findings from a study of former methamphetamine abusers showing evidence of impairment in areas of the brain known to influence cognition, emotion, and decision making.
Highlights NIDA-funded research to develop vaccines against addiction to drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, phencyclidine (PCP), and methamphetamine.
Reports prevalence rates of illicit drug abuse among youths and young adults based on 2007 data from a national survey of drug use and health.
Reports on research showing that newborns whose mothers abused methamphetamine during pregnancy showed lower rates of fetal growth as compared with unexposed newborns.
Describes a study investigating the use of the antidepressant bupropion as a potential therapy for methamphetamine addiction.
Describes a new research finding indicating that the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), prescribed to relieve depression during the methamphetamine withdrawal process, may make quitting harder.