NIDA Signs Binational Agreements With Peru and the United Arab Emirates
Representatives from the United Arab Emirates National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) joined NIDA staff following the signing ceremony for a binational agreement between NIDA and NRC. From left are NIDA International Program Associate Director Dale Weiss; NRC Senior Surveillance Analyst Anwar Batieha, Ph.D.; NRC Director General His Excellency Hamad Al Ghafri, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., M.P.H.; NRC Research Section Head Ahmed Elkashef, M.D.; NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.; NRC Surveillance Section Head Naseeba Al Ozaibi, Ph.D.; NRC Senior Public Health Education Specialist Amna Al Marzouqi, Ph.D.; and NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D.
NIDA has signed binational agreements to cooperate on drug abuse research and training activities with the Peruvian Instituto Nacional de Salud and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Rehabilitation Center (NRC). NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., and Instituto Nacional de Salud Chief Cesar Augusto Cabezas Sánchez, M.D., signed the Peruvian binational agreement in January 2014. The agreement focuses on scientific and academic exchange among established scientists and postdoctoral researchers, sharing research methods and tools, holding joint workshops, and participating in collaborative activities between the Instituto Nacional de Salud and the NIDA Clinical Trials Network.
Dr. Volkow and NRC Director General His Excellency Hamad Al Ghafri, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., M.P.H., signed the UAE agreement February 26, 2014, at NIDA headquarters. The two institutions agreed to cooperate on research and methods for epidemiology, prevention, addiction pharmacotherapy drug discovery, and phase 1 and 2 clinical trials; NIDA international fellowships, research training exchanges, and medical education programs; and joint scientific workshops.
The signing was part of a visit to NIDA by a delegation from the NRC. The delegation attended a NIDA Division of Epidemiology, Prevention and Services Research (DESPR) seminar where Rob Orwin, Ph.D., Westat, discussed evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant program. Following the DESPR seminar, NRC and NIDA staff met for discussions and presentations. NRC Surveillance Section Head Naseeba Al Ozaibi, Ph.D., and Eve Reider, Ph.D., DESPR, led the discussion of prevention activities. NRC Senior Public Health Education Specialist Amna Al Marzouqi, Ph.D., and Moira O’Brien, M.Phil., DESPR, reviewed epidemiology and surveillance programs in the two countries. Lori Ducharme, Ph.D., DESPR, discussed NIDA treatment services research. Stephanie Older, NIDA Office of Science Policy and Communications, described public education and information programs, including NIDA’s Drug Facts Week and Chat Day. NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., described the Institute’s research training fellowships and mechanisms for scientific exchanges.
NIDA International Forum Online Registration Deadline: May 6, 2014
Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico
InWomen’s 2014 Conference Announces Program
Friday, June 13, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The seventh International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference will feature a poster session, lunch speaker, two panel discussions, and cultural events. The panelists will discuss (1) emerging issues regarding addiction to licit drugs during pregnancy; and (2) perspectives on women and addiction from Saudi Arabia, Eastern and Central Europe, and the U.S.-Mexican border region. The lunch speaker, NIDA Associate Director for Scientific Affairs Susan Weiss, Ph.D., will review Institute priorities for international gender research. The graduated registration fee is $35 for students and participants from developing countries; $75 for those who cannot afford the full conference fee; and $150 to cover the full cost of materials, lunch, and meeting room costs. Participants are asked to register at the highest level they can afford to pay. For more information, contact InWomen’s Chair Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO Releases Guidelines on Managing Substance Use During Pregnancy
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the first evidence-based global guidelines to prevent and treat substance use by pregnant women. The plain language recommendations also can be used to help pregnant women and their family members make healthy decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use. Designed for use in both low- and high-resource countries, the document identifies principles and best practices in six areas:
Screening and brief intervention
Management of infant withdrawal.
The guidelines evolved from a 2009 NIDA International Program meeting, Treating Addiction During Pregnancy: Exploring Multinational Perspectives To Build a Treatment Approach Consensus. Invitees completed a premeeting survey that attracted enthusiastic responses from researchers in 22 different countries on six continents. Participants identified experts and stakeholders to develop a draft consensus statement and asked WHO to consider developing the guidelines.
In mid-2012, the WHO departments of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Tobacco Free Initiative began coordinating the guidelines development process, which was funded by the U.S. and Norwegian governments. NIDA and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provided additional support for evidence reviews and planning meetings.
Former NIDA INVEST Fellow Guilherme Borges, Sc.D., Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria Ramon de la Fuente Muñiz, Mexico, co-chaired the guidelines development group, and NIDA Distinguished International Scientist Irma Kirtadze, M.D., Alternative Georgia Addiction Research Center, Republic of Georgia, served as an external peer reviewer. NIDA grantee Hendrée Jones, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who chaired the 2009 NIDA meeting, also served on the WHO guidelines development group. Dr. Jones led the NIDA-funded Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study that found buprenorphine maintenance treatment safe for opioid-dependent pregnant women and their babies. NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research Behavioral and Brain Development Branch Chief Cheryl Anne Boyce, Ph.D., and Women and Sex/Gender Differences Research Program Deputy Coordinator Samia Dawud Noursi, Ph.D., participated in the guidelines development group meetings. Download the WHO Guidelines for the Management of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy
Spanish Society Honors NIDA’s Ivan Montoya
The Spanish Scientific Society of Alcohol and Drugs (Socidrogalcohol) has presented its Gold Pin Award and honorary membership to NIDA employee Ivan Montoya, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Montoya, who is deputy director of the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, was honored for his efforts in promoting drug abuse research in Spain and his outstanding support of training initiatives for addiction investigators and treatment professionals. Dr. Montoya is only the eighth person to receive the Socidrogalcohol Gold Pin Award, which is the society’s highest honor. The president of Socidrogalcohol, Professor Julio Bobes, M.D., presented the award on April 4, 2014, during the society’s 41st National Conference in Seville, Spain. Socidrogalcohol is the main scientific society in Spain—and the first in the Spanish-speaking world—dedicated to the field of alcohol and addictions. The Socidrogalcohol board of directors voted unanimously to approve the Gold Pin Award for Dr. Montoya.
CTN International Forum Features Collaboration Reports
International scientists presented their research during an international workshop at the Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Steering Committee Meeting, March 12, 2014, in Bethesda, Maryland. Greta Zaneti, M.S., University of Pavia, Italy, described her work with Robert Schwartz, M.D., Friends Research Institute, examining clinical, research, and public health models to address problem gambling in order to begin designing a cognitive behavioral gambling intervention in collaboration with the Italian Department for Anti-Drug Policies. Nathalie Gendron, Ph.D., assistant director of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, discussed the new Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, which uses the CTN model to create teams of university researchers and community-based treatment providers. Fabian Fiestas, Ph.D., Centro Nacional de Salud Pública at the Instituto Nacional de Salud de Peru, reviewed current conditions and suggested future directions for substance abuse treatment in Peru following the recently signed binational agreement between NIDA and Instituto Nacional de Salud de Peru. Clinical Trials Unit Coordinator Rodrigo Marin Navarrete, Ph.D., Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria Ramón de la Fuente of Mexico, presented results from a multisite randomized clinical trial that assessed motivational enhancement treatment in outpatient addiction care centers in Mexico.
2016 UN General Assembly Special Session To Focus on Drug Abuse Policy
The United Nations (UN) will hold a special session of the General Assembly (UNGASS) in 2016 to develop “more effective responses to drug trafficking based on public health, respect for human rights, and harm reduction.” In addition to official contributions from government agencies in the 193 UN member states, nongovernmental organizations and individual drug abuse researchers will have opportunities to participate in the special session preparations. Learn more about the UNGASS on drug abuse policy.
WHO Begins Developing Guidelines on Managing Opioid Overdose
NIDA International Program Director Steven W. Gust, Ph.D., was among the international drug abuse experts who met to discuss drafting World Health Organization (WHO) evidence-based guidelines for managing opioid overdose. The meeting was held February 19–20, 2014, in Geneva. According to WHO, between 70,000 and 100,000 people die annually from overdose, and opioid-related respiratory depression causes many of those deaths. The guidelines development group examined evidence from clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness, risks, and benefits of various opioid overdose interventions and discussed best practices established in different countries. Participants also discussed legal and ethical issues emerging from adoption of take-home naloxone doses to ensure that people dependent on opioids, their families, peers, and first responders have access to this proven overdose treatment medication in cases of emergency. Advocates suggested that improving access to naloxone might reduce opioid overdose deaths and provide treatment options in countries with limited access to health service for people who inject drugs.
Symposium Examines Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Africa
Researchers from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States gathered in Jimma, Ethiopia, February 17–19, 2014, for a symposium to build research capacity on addiction and mental health. Fikre Lemessa, Ph.D., president of Jimma University chaired the conference. NIDA grantee Mustafa al’Absi, Ph.D., chaired the scientific committee. Dr. al’Absi directs the Khat Research Program and the Duluth Medical Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The International Brain Research Organization Africa Regional Committee and the biannual Africa and Middle East Conference on Addiction provided financial and logistical support for the symposium. The Khat Research Program plans to organize similar symposia in other African and Middle Eastern countries. See the program for the Jimma-Minnesota symposium.
PAHO Offers Spanish-Language Resources for Addiction Researchers
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has translated a key scientific publication guide into Spanish and created a free virtual campus with self-taught online lessons for substance abuse professionals. Working with the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, PAHO has translated the second edition of Publishing Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed into Spanish. The virtual campus offers lessons on alcohol policy and public health, drug policy and public health, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, and the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST). The ASSIST course is currently available in Spanish only.
Download Publicación de la ciencia de adicción: Guía para perplejos.
Register for the PAHO virtual campus.
Postdoctoral Drug Abuse Research Program for U.S. and French Scientists
The application deadline is May 1 for the 2014 round of postdoctoral research exchange fellowships cosponsored by NIDA and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm). In fiscal year 2014, NIDA will support up to two awards for French scientists to work in the United States with an eligible NIDA grantee, and Inserm will support up to two awards for U.S. scientists to work in France with an eligible mentor at an Inserm research unit or center. U.S. mentors should be a current NIDA-funded extramural or intramural researcher conducting research in computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, statistics, genetics, or epigenetics related to addiction. French mentors must be conducting research in computational neuroscience, bioinformatics, statistics, genetics, epigenetics, neurobiology, or clinical trials in drug abuse and addiction. Read about the fellowships and the research interests of the eligible mentors.
NIDA Names Georgian Researcher as Distinguished International Scientist
Irma Kirtadze, M.D., senior researcher at Alternative Georgia Addiction Research Center in the Republic of Georgia, has received a NIDA Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award (DISCA). Dr. Kirtadze will use the award to work with her U.S. partner, Hendrée Jones, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The two are developing a manual to implement supported employment programs for women with substance use disorders. During Dr. Kirtadze’s DISCA exchange visit, the two will interview vocational services providers in North Carolina and conduct qualitative analyses of the responses. Once she returns to the Republic of Georgia, Dr. Kirtadze will interview vocational services providers and women participating in the NIDA-supported binational research project, HIV and Drug Use in Georgian Women (R01 DA029880), for which she and Dr. Jones serve as principal investigators. The research partners will use the qualitative analyses of the interviews to develop the manual and plan to seek funding for implementation and evaluation of the manual once it is completed.
Learn more about the DISCA program.