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Q&A: Dr. David Thomas

noviembre del 2012

NIDA Program Officer Dr. David Thomas speaks about the intertwined problems of pain and prescription opioid abuse, as well as the research supported by NIDA and the National Institutes of Health to address these problems.

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Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves

septiembre del 2012

Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

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

septiembre del 2012

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.

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Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment

julio del 2012

Fewer than 12 percent of adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence receive any treatment, according to an analysis of data from the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most common reason the adolescents gave for not receiving treatment was their lack of perceived need for it.

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Intervention Boosts Treatment Participation, Abstinence Among Depressed Women

julio del 2012
Intensive case management was more effective in increasing treatment engagement and reducing alcohol consumption among depressed participants than among those who were not depressed, according to a followup analysis of a substance abuse treatment study involving women on welfare.

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Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows

julio del 2012
Rates of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking stood at historic lows in 2011, but marijuana use trended upward, according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.

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Prenatal Cocaine Exposure Increases Monkeys' Impulsivity Into Adulthood

julio del 2012

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.

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Program Reduces Recidivism Among Men With Co-occurring Disorders

julio del 2012
A modified therapeutic community program designed by NIDA-supported researchers helped Colorado offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders re-enter their communities and avoid recidivism after release from prison.

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PhenX Toolkit Provides Standard Measures for Research

julio del 2012
NIDA researchers working with human subjects now have a new resource at their fingertips: the PhenX Toolkit’s new Substance Abuse and Addiction (SAA) Collection. The Toolkit is designed to provide standardized measures, vetted and approved by the field, to help researchers compare and combine data from multiple studies.

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The Present and Promise of mHealth

julio del 2012

NIDA researchers have developed a computer program that motivates and encourages treatment-seeking when an individual is in a primary care physician’s waiting room. Users of the program, called Video Doctor, enter information on a portable device and receive feedback about health risks related to their drug abuse, along with advice, immediately prior to seeing their physician.

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