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NIDA Notes Articles: Relapse and Recovery

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Cognitive Strategy Reduces Craving by Altering Brain Activity

April 2012

While viewing images of cigarettes, smokers reported milder cravings when they shifted their focus from the pleasures of smoking to its harmful effects. Brain imaging showed a correlation between the reductions in craving and altered activity levels in regions associated with emotional regulation and reward.

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Combination Treatment Extends Marijuana Abstinence

March 2008
Describes research investigating the use of a treatment that combines vouchers and cognitive behavioral therapy as compared with the use of either treatment alone for marijuana abuse.

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Combined Treatments Improve Dual Abstinence

October 2009

Reports on a study investigating the effectiveness of a combined therapy of disulfiram and naltrexone for people who abuse cocaine and alcohol.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Reduces Rats' Cocaine Seeking

December 2010
Describes results from an animal study involving deep brain stimulation that holds promise as a therapy for severe cocaine addiction.

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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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Disruption of Neuron Production in Adult Rats Increases Cocaine Taking

November 2011
Drug abuse may diminish production of new neurons in the brain’s hippocampus and thereby increase vulnerability to drug addiction.

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Drug Cues Outside Awareness Rapidly Trigger Brain's Emotion Centers

October 2009

Describes research showing that cocaine abusers appear to have a rapid neural response to reward cues outside of their awareness, possibly signifying vulnerability to relapse.

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High-Risk Drug Offenders Do Better With Close Judicial Supervision

December 2008

Reports on research showing that increasing the mandatory drug court monitoring sessions for high-risk drug offenders can enhance program success rates.

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How Drug Abuse Affects the Brain and Alters Behavior Are Key Questions Driving Division's Work

February 2007
Discusses the work of NIDA’s Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, the Institute’s locus for studies into the fundamental brain mechanisms underlying drug abuse and addiction.

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Incentives Promote Abstinence

December 2010

Explores research findings on the value of motivational incentives to promote and reinforce abstinence from substances of abuse and encourage healthy behaviors.

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