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NIDA Notes Articles: People with Drug Use Disorders

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Brain Opioid Receptor Levels Predict Time to Cocaine Relapse

October 2010
Describes study findings revealing that cocaine abusers who maintain high levels of a certain receptor in their brain during early abstinence relapse sooner than abusers whose levels drop.

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Attention to Bipolar Disorder Strengthens Substance Abuse Treatment

April 2010

Describes a study of participants who had both substance abuse and bipolar disorder to investigate the potential benefits of integrated group therapy for this population.

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Antiretroviral Treatment Reduces Spread of HIV Among Injection Drug Users

April 2012
Expanded use of antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia reduced the spread of HIV among injection drug users and others in the province.

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Anticipation of Methadone Enhances Brain Reactivity to Heroin Cues

December 2009

Describes findings of a study revealing that images of heroin preparation and injection can incite craving and excite brain areas associated with reward-seeking even in methadone-maintained patients.

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Animation: Building an Anti-Drug Vaccine

December 2012

The immune system has an extraordinary ability to recognize compounds foreign to the body and eliminate them. NIDA-sponsored scientists are working to harness this ability to create vaccines that will protect individuals against the psychogenic and addictive effects of abused drugs. This animation shows one of the most promising strategies, which has already yielded partial success in producing effective vaccines against nicotine, cocaine, and other drugs.

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Animal Research Advances Effort to Develop Vaccines Against Cocaine, Heroin Abuse

September 2012

New vaccines that aim to promote recovery from cocaine and heroin abuse showed promise in animal testing. Both vaccines induced rats’ immune system to produce high titers of antibodies that inhibit the target drug from reaching the brain. The rats’ behaviors when given access to the target drug indicated that the vaccines reduced the reinforcing effects that, in recovering people, can cause lapses to turn into relapses.

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Among Young Attendees at STD Clinics, Substance Abusers Report More Risky Sexual Behavior

October 2007

Highlights data on the risky sexual behaviors of patients at a sexually transmitted disease clinic who had a substance abuse disorder as compared to those without a substance abuse disorder.

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Alleviation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder May Improve Addiction Treatment

April 2012

Women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who abused drugs responded better to substance abuse treatment after their PTSD symptoms improved, according to a recent study, which also found that reductions in substance abuse did not ease PTSD severity

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Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders

February 2007

Presents an overview of the research underway to investigate medication and behavioral therapies for co-occurring disorders.

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