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NIDA Notes Articles: Cocaine

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Low Dopamine Receptor Availability May Promote Cocaine Addiction

April 2009

Describes findings from an animal study showing that cocaine lowers availability of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that includes portions of the reward system.

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Long-Term Cocaine Self-Administration Depresses Brain Activity

December 2008

Discusses research exploring how widespread the reduction of neural activity is in the brain with chronic exposure to cocaine.

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Long-Term Cocaine Abuse Linked With Impaired Heart Function

March 2008
Summarizes research on the effects of long-term regular cocaine abuse on the cardiovascular system in African Americans.

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Intervention Strengthens American Indian Teen Mothers’ Parenting

February 2014

Teen mothers on three American Indian reservations improved on several measures of parenting after participating in Family Spirit, a home-visiting intervention developed with NIDA support. At 12 months postpartum, the women’s children exhibited reduced rates of emotional difficulties predicting later drug abuse and other behavioral problems. Infants at highest risk—those whose mothers had histories of drug abuse—benefited the most.

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In Nationwide Survey, More Students Use Marijuana, Fewer Use Other Drugs

April 2014

Almost one-third (32 percent) of the roughly 42,000 Monitoring the Future survey respondents reported having used marijuana during their lifetime. However, abuse of many other drugs—methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and some prescription medications—declined.

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Impacts of Drugs on Neurotransmission

October 2007

Discusses the central importance of studying drugs' effects on neurotransmission and describes some of the most common experimental methods used in this research.

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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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High Rates of Illegal Drug Use Among Alcohol-Dependent Adults

July 2011
Highlights data on the prevalence of rates of illegal drug use and nonmedical use of prescription drugs among adults dependant on alcohol, as compared with the general population.

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Gene Variants Reduce Opioid Risks

June 2014

Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.

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Gene Experiment Confirms a Suspected Cocaine Action

October 2007

Reports on the work of addiction researchers who are learning how acute and chronic cocaine exposure regulates certain genes, based on knowledge from developmental and cancer biology.

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