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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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Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves (September 2012)

Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

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Intervention Boosts Treatment Participation, Abstinence Among Depressed Women (July 2012)

Intensive case management was more effective in increasing treatment engagement and reducing alcohol consumption among depressed participants than among those who were not depressed, according to a followup analysis of a substance abuse treatment study involving women on welfare.

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Few Teens With Prescription Opioid Use Disorders Receive Treatment (July 2012)

Fewer than 12 percent of adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for prescription opioid abuse or dependence receive any treatment, according to an analysis of data from the 2005 to 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The most common reason the adolescents gave for not receiving treatment was their lack of perceived need for it.

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Prenatal Cocaine Exposure Increases Monkeys' Impulsivity Into Adulthood (July 2012)

Prenatal drug exposure can have behavioral effects that last well into adulthood, according to two studies of adult monkeys prenatally exposed to cocaine. In the first study, drug-exposed monkeys exhibited less flexibility than controls in adjusting to changing circumstances; in the second study, drug-exposed males exhibited a greater preference than controls for having rewards right away, a sign of impulsivity.

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Program Reduces Recidivism Among Men With Co-occurring Disorders (July 2012)

A modified therapeutic community program designed by NIDA-supported researchers helped Colorado offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders re-enter their communities and avoid recidivism after release from prison.

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PhenX Toolkit Provides Standard Measures for Research (July 2012)

NIDA researchers working with human subjects now have a new resource at their fingertips: the PhenX Toolkit’s new Substance Abuse and Addiction (SAA) Collection. The Toolkit is designed to provide standardized measures, vetted and approved by the field, to help researchers compare and combine data from multiple studies.

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Adolescent Smoking and Drinking at Historic Lows (July 2012)

Rates of adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking stood at historic lows in 2011, but marijuana use trended upward, according to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.

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Prevention System Has Lasting Effects, Benefit Exceeds Costs (July 2012)

Towns that implemented a drug abuse prevention program called Communities That Care will see a return of $5.30 for each $1 they invested during the 5-year trial of the intervention, according to a cost-benefit analysis. The estimate is based on reductions in smoking and delinquency observed during the fourth year of the study among eighth-graders and the projected total costs of smoking, delinquency, and crime avoided over the lifetimes of study participants.

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Training Gaps for Evidence-Based Practices (July 2012)

Ninety percent of privately funded substance abuse treatment programs in the United States offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)...

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More Convenient Preparations of Buprenorphine Pass Test (July 2012)

Soluble-film preparations of buprenorphine suppressed heroin abusers’ withdrawal symptoms with no serious side effects in a recent clinical trial. They dissolved more rapidly in the mouth than the pill form of the medication, providing faster relief.

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