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NIDA Notes Articles: Prevention Research

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Nicotine Makes Mouse Brain More Responsive to Cocaine

February 2013

Nicotine sensitizes the mouse brain to the addictive effects of cocaine, according to recent NIDA-supported research. The results accord with the hypothesis that a person’s initial use of an addictive substance physiologically sensitizes his or her brain to the rewarding and addictive effects of other substances. If the findings carry over to people, then preventing youths from smoking might reduce their vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction, and cocaine-dependent individuals might ease their path to recovery by quitting smoking.

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SAAF‒T Reduces African American Teens’ Substance Use, Conduct Problems

February 2013

Teens who participated in the intervention Strong African American FamiliesTeen at age 16 reported fewer conduct problems and depressive symptoms and less substance abuse at age 17‒18, compared to peers exposed to a control intervention.

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Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure Linked With Problems

December 2012

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.

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Good Behavior Game Wins 2012 Mentor International Best Practice Award

November 2012

The NIDA-supported Good Behavior Game recently was honored with the 2012 Mentor International Best Practice Award. The game, which focuses on reducing disruptive behaviors in elementary school classrooms, has been shown to prevent drug abuse and other problems in adolescence and young adulthood.

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Program Reduces Recidivism Among Men With Co-occurring Disorders

July 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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The Present and Promise of mHealth

July 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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Prevention System Has Lasting Effects, Benefit Exceeds Costs

July 2012

Towns that implemented a drug abuse prevention program called Communities That Care will see a return of $5.30 for each $1 they invested during the 5-year trial of the intervention, according to a cost-benefit analysis. The estimate is based on reductions in smoking and delinquency observed during the fourth year of the study among eighth-graders and the projected total costs of smoking, delinquency, and crime avoided over the lifetimes of study participants.

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Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award

July 2012

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.

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Vouchers Improve Mothers’ Smoking Abstinence and Newborns’ Weight

April 2012

Pregnant women who received financial incentives to refrain from smoking during late pregnancy were more successful at remaining abstinent and less likely to have babies with low birth weight, according to data from three trials.

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Desire to Smoke Subsides, But Cigarette Cues Retain Power

April 2012

During early abstinence, smokers’ cravings triggered by cigarette cues intensified over time, providing evidence that people can experience a phenomenon previously observed in experiments with animals

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