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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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Stress Hormone Sets the Stage for Relapse to Cocaine Use (June 2015)

A stressed rat will seek a dose of cocaine that is too weak to motivate an unstressed rat. Researchers traced the physiological pathway that links stress and the stress hormone corticosterone to increased dopamine activity and heightened responsiveness to cocaine.

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Distinct Challenges Affect Women’s HIV Treatment Outcomes After Jail (May 2015)

Women who are infected with HIV and are transitioning back to communities after serving jail time are less likely than their male counterparts to have a regular HIV care provider, to take and regularly adhere to an HIV medication regimen, and to have suppression of the virus.

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Intervention Yields Sustained Health Benefits for American Indian Teen Mothers and Their Children (March 2015)

Family Spirit, a program that teaches parenting skills to American Indian teen mothers, improved participants’ children’s emotional and behavioral development throughout their first 36 months of life.

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Study Points to Individualized Therapy for Opioid Addiction (February 2015)

Trial participants who were addicted to opioid painkillers and did not inject drugs stayed in treatment longer and achieved better outcomes than those who were addicted to heroin or injected drugs.

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Patients Addicted to Opioid Painkillers Achieve Good Results With Outpatient Detoxification (February 2015)

A significant portion of individuals who are addicted to opioid painkillers may initiate and maintain abstinence with a brief but intensive outpatient detoxification treatment followed by opioid antagonist therapy using naltrexone.

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Animal Study Suggests Marijuana May Affect Future Offspring’s Susceptibility to Heroin (February 2015)

Can marijuana use put offspring at heightened risk for opiate addiction, even if the use stops before the offspring are conceived? Results from a recent NIDA-funded study are consistent with other studies suggesting that a parent’s history of drug use, even preconception, may affect a child’s brain function and behavior.

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Waletzky Memorial Award Winners’ Lectures at NIDA Illuminate Cocaine’s Many Effects on Brain Structure, Circuitry (January 2015)

Dr. Paul E. M. Phillips spoke on “Phasic Dopamine Transmission During Substance Abuse,” describing investigations that he has led into the role of brief, seconds-long bursts of dopamine signaling in addictive processes. Dr. Rita Z. Goldstein spoke on “Targeting the Brain, Cognition, and Motivation for Intervention in Addiction.”

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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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