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What Does It Mean When We Call Addiction a Brain Disorder?

March 2018
Informed Americans no longer view addiction as a moral failing, and more and more policymakers are recognizing that punishment is an ineffective and inappropriate tool for addressing a person’s drug problems. Treatment is what is needed. Read More.

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image of pregnant women

Could Naltrexone Be Used to Treat Pregnant Women with Opioid Addiction?

February 2018
A recent study published in Lancet found that extended-release naltrexone was equally effective at reducing illicit opioid use as the partial agonist buprenorphine if patients could be successfully initiated on naltrexone. Read More.

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Image of pipettes and gloved hands

NIDA’s Past-Year Achievements Point the Way Toward Future Advances

January 2018
2017 brought exciting new basic science findings, including some striking new insights into the structure and functioning of receptors that play important roles in substance use, addiction, and pain. Read More.

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Monitoring the future logo

Monitoring the Future Results Show Reduced Opioid Misuse but Popularity of Vaping Among Youth

December 2017
Today the results of the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey were released by NIDA-funded researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and overall the news is encouraging. Read More.

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World AIDS Day logo

NIDA’S Avant-Garde Award Competition Continues to Foster Transformative HIV/AIDS Research

December 2017
NIH-funded science continues to make great strides in the fight against HIV. To foster such research, 10 years ago NIDA created its Avant-Garde Award competition to fund bold projects that could have a high impact in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in drug users. Read More.

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Illustration of crowdsourcing

Mobilizing Citizen Science to Address the Overdose Epidemic

November 2017
Social media and crowdsourcing apps could be particularly useful for gathering and sharing information in real time about overdoses and using that information to prevent overdose deaths, thereby translating “citizen science” into “citizen prevention.” Read More.

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Illustration of a diverse crowd of people

Addressing the Opioid Crisis Means Confronting Socioeconomic Disparities

October 2017
When we speak of addiction as a chronic disorder of the brain, it thus includes an understanding that some individuals are more susceptible to drug use and addiction than others... Read More.

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Photo of researcher working with a pipette under a hood

New Medication Formulations Could Quickly Make a Difference for Treating Opioid Addiction

August 2017
As Francis Collins and I wrote in May, NIH and NIDA are committed to an “all scientific hands on deck” effort to end the opioid crisis in America by halving the time it takes to develop new medications to treat pain and addiction and reverse overdoses. Read More.

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male student sleeping in class

The Concerning Link Between Inadequate Sleep and Adolescent Substance Use

July 2017
Children and adolescents require more sleep than adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) defines a sufficient night’s sleep for an adolescent as 8.5-9.5 hours per night. But according to data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, just over a quarter of middle and high-school students (27.5 %) got 8 hours or more of sleep on the average night in 2015, and most got much less. Researchers have found striking links between insufficient sleep and a range of adverse outcomes in adolescents, including obesity, poor school performance, and behavioral problems including substance use. Read More.

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Journal special report screenshot

“All Scientific Hands on Deck” to End the Opioid Crisis

May 2017
In 2015, two million people had a prescription opioid use disorder and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder; prescription drug misuse alone cost the nation $78.5 billion in healthcare, law enforcement, and lost productivity. But while the scope of the crisis is staggering, it is not hopeless. By Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA) and Francis Collins (Director, NIH) Read More.

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Dr. Nora Volkow: Video Highlights

NIDA Director, Dr. Nora D. Volkow Videos

  • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA): Quality Talks, October 2016
    Treating Addiction Within the Health Care System
  • APA TV, May 2016
    APA TV chats with Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of NIDA to hear about her lecture on drug abuse and the opioid epidemic.
  • Kentucky Educational Television, May 2016
    One to One with Bill Goodman: Dr. Nora Volkow
  • TEDMED, January 2015
    Why do our brains get addicted?
  • The World Science Festival, April 2014
    The Moth: The Brain's Addiction - Nora Volkow
  • Rockburn Presents, November 2012
    Dr. Nora Volkow
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory WBNL Video, October 2012
    Chemistry celebration: FDG: Contribution to Our Understanding of Addiction
  • CBS 60 Minutes, April 2012
    Hooked: Why Bad Habits Are Hard to Break 
  • Science Times, June 2011
    Dr. Nora Volkow