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Nora's Blog

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COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

April 2020
As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world contend with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the research community should be alert to the possibility that it could hit some populations with substance use disorders particularly hard. Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes  COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape. Read More.

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ndafw graphic

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Celebrates Its 10th Year

March 2020
This week, March 30 through April 5, 2020, is the 10th National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW), a yearly observance organized by NIDA in partnership with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Read More.

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Image of marijuana being added to a test tube with tweezers

Request for Information: Standard Unit Dose of THC

March 2020
Today, NIDA issued a Request for Information (RFI) from the research community and any other interested parties regarding the establishment of a standard unit dose of THC in order to facilitate research on cannabis. Read More.

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Person unable to sleep

Connections between Sleep and Substance Use Disorders

March 2020
Most common mental disorders, from depression and anxiety to PTSD, are associated with disturbed sleep, and substance use disorders are no exception. The relationship may be complex and bidirectional: Substance use causes sleep problems; but insomnia and insufficient sleep may also be a factor raising the risk of drug use and addiction. Read More.

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Image of year 2019 being replaced with 2020

Reviewing NIDA’s 2019 Achievements and Looking to the Future

January 2020
As NIDA sets its sights on new goals and objectives for 2020 and beyond, I like to reflect on how far we have come in our research efforts, especially as they concern the opioid crisis, one of the biggest public health issues of our era. Read More.

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2019 Monitoring the Future Survey Raises Worries about Teen Marijuana Vaping

December 2019
For the second year in a row, rapid rises in vaping among adolescents are the top story from the Monitoring the Future survey of drug use and attitudes among the country’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Read More.

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Prevention Point

Addressing the Socioeconomic Complexities of Addiction—Lessons from the Kensington Neighborhood in Philadelphia

October 2019
This September, I was invited by Thomas Farley, the Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, to see firsthand how that city is responding to the opioid crisis. We toured Prevention Point, a private non-profit organization providing harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Read More.

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Image of cigarette and vaping device with smoke

New Discovery Illuminates Brain Link Between Nicotine and Diabetes

October 2019
Until recently, nicotine’s link to diabetes has been thought to involve inflammation and oxidative stress caused by chemicals in cigarette smoke, but a group of researchers have discovered an unexpected brain-based mechanism tied specifically to nicotine. Read More.

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With NIDA’s Help, Startups Translate Addiction Science into New Technologies

October 2019
Over the past few years, NIDA’s Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI) has used these and other funding mechanisms to help biotech startups develop incredibly innovative technologies that translate addiction science into healthcare and consumer products. Read More.

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NIDA Announces New NIH HEAL Initiative Awards to Address the Opioid Crisis

September 2019
In Fiscal Year 2019, approximately 375 NIH HEAL Initiative grants, contracts, supplements, and cooperative agreements in 41 states, totaling $945 million, have been awarded to researchers and research teams across the U.S. Read More.

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Dr. Nora Volkow: Remarks and Video Highlights

APA 2015 meeting

  • Marijuana as a Cure for Opioid Use? Nation's Top Drug Scientist Says She's Skeptical, March 2019
  • Meet the Woman Leading the Nation's War on Addiction, October 2018
  • Aspen Ideas Festival 2018: Shining Light on Less Visible Prescription Drug Epidemics, June 2018
  • Dr. Nora Volkow on Addiction: A Disease of Free Will, May 2015
  • TEDMED, January 2015
    Why do our brains get addicted?
  • The World Science Festival, April 2014
    The Moth: The Brain's Addiction - Nora Volkow
  • CBS 60 Minutes, April 2012
    Hooked: Why Bad Habits Are Hard to Break 
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