From Theory into Practice: NIDA's Blending Conference Highlights the Latest in Drug Abuse Treatment
April 15, 2010
The newest drug addiction treatment approaches will be on display at the National Institute on Drug Abuse's eighth Blending Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 22-23. The event is titled: Blending Addiction Science and Practice: Evidence-Based Treatment and Prevention in Diverse Populations and Settings. The theme brings together cutting edge drug abuse researchers and treatment providers committed to using the best science based treatments to serve a growing medical need.
Traditionally an opportunity for those in the addiction community to learn about the important next steps in treatment, this year's Blending Conference offers an information-rich program.
Below is a sampling of sessions focusing on some of addiction's most pressing problems.
- Buprenorphine treatment for young adults: Buprenorphine is an effective treatment for adults addicted to heroin and other opioids, but is it appropriate for young people facing similar problems? New research shows that long-term use of buprenorphine not only helps control opioid addiction in this vulnerable group, but may also keep them in treatment longer, which could mean improved long-term outcomes.
- Developing new drug addiction treatments: NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow will highlight the dramatic scientific advances that help explain the molecular and genetic changes that underlie addiction. Understanding the complex biological, developmental, and environmental factors that drive this disease may lead to novel and targeted treatment and prevention efforts.
- Vaccines for treating nicotine and cocaine addiction: Could the immune system be exploited to help smokers quit? The premise is that by evoking an immune/antibody response to nicotine, we could inhibit its entry into the brain, blocking its psychoactive effects and promoting abstinence. Clinical trials are well underway examining NicVax - a vaccine that has shown promise in early clinical trials. A vaccine against cocaine has also been developed, although at an earlier stage.
- A special track addressing American Indian/Native populations: These populations have long endured historical trauma and discrimination that have contributed to negative health outcomes, including substance abuse and HIV infection. Preliminary research suggests that reframing intergenerational trauma and utilizing specific evidence-based practices may show promise. Presenters will discuss how indigenous interventions will intersect, blend, and interweave the important tenets of traditional Native American healing with Western models of treatment.
- Veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Service personnel and their families are experiencing profound personal and social difficulties related to combat experience that can lead to mental health problems, including substance abuse. Addiction scientists will discuss the effects of combat-related PTSD on veterans, reservists and their families. The session will also show the interplay between trauma and substance abuse and how counseling and medication can help alleviate some of the problems the military community is facing with regard to drug abuse.
What: Blending Addiction Science and Practice: Evidence-Based Treatment and Prevention in Diverse Populations and Settings
Who: NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow
When: April 22-23
Where: The conference will be taking place at the Albuquerque Convention Center, located at 401 2nd Street Northwest, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102, and the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, located at 330 Tijeras Northwest, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102.