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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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The Present and Promise of mHealth (July 2012)

NIDA researchers have developed a computer program that motivates and encourages treatment-seeking when an individual is in a primary care physician’s waiting room. Users of the program, called Video Doctor, enter information on a portable device and receive feedback about health risks related to their drug abuse, along with advice, immediately prior to seeing their physician.

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Buprenorphine During Pregnancy Reduces Neonate Distress (July 2012)

Sublingual buprenorphine is a safe and effective alternative to methadone for treating opioid dependence during pregnancy, finds the Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study, a NIDA-supported clinical trial. Women who received either medication had similar pregnancy and birth outcomes, but infants born to women who received buprenorphine had milder symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal.

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Neuroscience Education Program Encourages Learning at All Ages (July 2012)

Eight scientists have received National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to develop K-12 education programs that will engage young people in learning about the brain, inspire some to pursue careers in biomedical science, and increase teacher knowledge of neuroscience. The 5-year grants are funded by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Science Education.

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Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award (July 2012)

Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.

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Investigators Map Functional Networks in the Rat Brain (June 2012)

Researchers have mapped the fundamental functional organization of the rat brain and shown that it resembles that of the human brain.

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Elevated Rates of Drug Abuse Continue for Second Year (June 2012)

Illicit drug use in the United States in 2010 was at its highest level since 2002, according to the most recent report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. A rise in marijuana use drove the increase. A favorable trend of falling cocaine use continued.

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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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Cognitive Strategy Reduces Craving by Altering Brain Activity (April 2012)

While viewing images of cigarettes, smokers reported milder cravings when they shifted their focus from the pleasures of smoking to its harmful effects. Brain imaging showed a correlation between the reductions in craving and altered activity levels in regions associated with emotional regulation and reward.

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Vouchers Improve Mothers’ Smoking Abstinence and Newborns’ Weight (April 2012)

Pregnant women who received financial incentives to refrain from smoking during late pregnancy were more successful at remaining abstinent and less likely to have babies with low birth weight, according to data from three trials.

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Desire to Smoke Subsides, But Cigarette Cues Retain Power (April 2012)

During early abstinence, smokers’ cravings triggered by cigarette cues intensified over time, providing evidence that people can experience a phenomenon previously observed in experiments with animals

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