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NIDA Notes keeps you up to date on research advances in the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction and HIV/AIDS.

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Narrative of Discovery: In Search of a Medication To Treat Methamphetamine Addiction (January 2015)

This is the first in a series of NIDA Notes articles that will follow a team of researchers seeking a medication for methamphetamine addiction. This installment describes the early promise of the compound lobeline and the new directions the team discovered in studying it.

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Communities That Care System Helps Prevent Problem Behaviors in Youth Through 12th Grade (December 2014)

Extending the prevention interventions to target risk factors through the high school years could strengthen effects on substance use and delinquent behaviors on the cusp of adulthood.

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Varenicline Helps People With Mental Illness Maintain Abstinence From Smoking (November 2014)

The finding from an 18-month-long clinical trial strengthens hope that pharmacotherapy can break nicotine’s especially tenacious hold on people with serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

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Study Assesses Functional Deficits Due to HIV and Methamphetamine Use (November 2014)

Methamphetamine use and HIV infection raise the risk for functional dependence, or the need for assistance with everyday tasks. People who use methamphetamine and are HIV positive showed the highest levels of functional dependence in most domains of daily life.

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NIDA To Provide Travel Awards to Junior Investigators Conducting Research Focused on Women and Sex/Gender Differences in Drug Abuse (November 2014)

NIDA plans to provide $750 travel awards to 27 junior investigators to present their research on women or sex/gender differences in any area of drug abuse at the annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13–18, 2015. Deadline to apply is December 5, 2014.

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Animation: The Rise and Fall of the Cocaine High (November 2014)

This animation shows the rapid passage of cocaine through the brain. It demonstrates that the intensity of the cocaine “high” parallels the trajectory of cocaine levels in the brain.

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Smoking Cessation Does Not Interfere With Recovery From Substance Use (October 2014)

Despite common concerns that encouraging patients to quit smoking might endanger their success in treatment of substance use and mood or anxiety disorders, smoking cessation appears unlikely to hinder and may even help recovery.

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Dr. Kevin M. Gray Q & A: A Potential Medication for Marijuana Dependence (October 2014)

Dr. Kevin M. Gray discusses why it’s the perfect time for discovering new evidence-based treatments for marijuana dependence. In an accompanying podcast, he discusses a clinical trial that examines NAC’s potential as a treatment for marijuana dependence among adults.

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A Genetic Nexus of Obesity and Smoking (October 2014)

Research shows that some gene variants that influence body mass index also shape smoking behaviors.

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New Approach Uses Immune Cells To Deliver Anti-HIV Medications (October 2014)

Nano-antiretroviral therapy (nano-ART) turns macrophages—one of the very cell types that HIV uses to replicate and spread through the body—into carriers for anti-HIV medications. The approach has the potential to make treatment for HIV easier and more effective.

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    The Rise and Fall of the Cocaine High

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    Researchers Speak: Dr. Kevin M. Gray