EMCDDA Honors NIDA-Supported Research at Lisbon Addictions Conference

An article written by NIDA grantees and a former NIDA International Fellow received the 2017 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Scientific Award. The award honors peer-reviewed publications that enhance understanding of the European drug problem through innovative, high-quality research. The authors presented the paper during the Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies, which was held October 24–26, 2017, in Lisbon, Portugal. The Lancet article elucidates the links between incarceration and transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries. The authors’ models predict that between 28% and 55% of all new HIV infections and 75% of incident tuberculosis cases over the next 15 years will be attributable to heightened HIV transmission risk among currently or previously incarcerated people who inject drugs in the region. NIDA grantee Frederick L. Altice, Yale University, was the lead author. Coauthors include former NIDA INVEST/CTN and Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Sergei Dvoriak, Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, and NIDA grantees Faye S. Taxman, George Mason University; Nabila El-Bassel, Columbia University; Natasha Martin, University of California, San Diego; and Robert Booth, University of Colorado. The article, titled “The Perfect Storm: Incarceration and the High-Risk Environment Perpetuating Transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C Virus, and Tuberculosis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” appeared in the September 17, 2016, issue of Lancet, volume 388, issue 10050, pages 1228–48.

During the conference, NIDA Health Scientist Administrator Moira O’Brien, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, chaired a session on the role of the opioid addiction epidemic on nonmedical use of prescription drugs and the emergence of novel synthetic opioids. Several former NIDA fellows spoke during conference sessions. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Jallal Toufiq, M.D., director of the Moroccan National Observatory on Drugs and Addiction, discussed science policy during the plenary session and also spoke during a session on the legal, social, and economic factors that affect prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among school-aged children in the Mediterranean region. Former NIDA U.S.–Mexico Drug Abuse Prevention Fellow Annick Borquez spoke in two sessions about HIV incidence and prevalence in Mexico. One presentation focused on the impact of Mexican drug law reforms; the second, on the impact of providing HIV treatment and opioid agonist therapy in prison. Former NIDA INVEST Fellow Jan Klimas, Ireland, discussed a systematic review and meta-analysis of alcohol withdrawal among adults and presented a poster on the British Columbia University addiction clinician scientist research fellowship. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Roman Gabrhelik, Czech Republic, reviewed data about stimulant use in five European Union countries and presented a poster on a systematic review of Internet addiction prevention interventions. Former NIDA Humphrey Fellow Tomas Zabransky, Czech Republic, discussed developments in drug policy. Former NIDA Distinguished International Scientist Irma Kirtadze, Georgia, presented a poster on a cost-benefit analysis of medication-assisted treatment and needle syringe programs. Former NIDA INVEST/Clinical Trials Network Fellow Effat Merghati Khoei, Iran, presented a poster about a clinical trial of group therapy for people receiving methadone maintenance treatment.