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NIDA in the News

APRIL 2012

Press Releases

NIDA creates easy-to-read website on drug abuse
A new, easy-to-read website on drug abuse designed for adults with a low reading literacy level (eighth grade or below) was launched today by NIDA. The site, which provides plain language information on neuroscience, drug abuse prevention and treatment, is also a resource for adult literacy educators. It has a simple design with a large default text size, motion graphic videos, audio versions of each page and other features that make it easy to read and use. The new site can be found at: Read more ⇒

Media coverage included Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Public Health Blog as well as over a dozen retweets/mentions.

New NIDA resource helps families navigate addiction treatment options
Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask was created to help individuals and families struggling with addiction to ask the right questions before choosing a drug treatment program. It is available to the public free online or in hard copy through NIDA’s DrugPubs service. Read more ⇒

Media coverage included stories in the Los Angeles Times, Medscape (free login), ONDCP’s blog,, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Public Health Blog, NIH Radio and the Kansas City InfoZine.

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Research News

Researcher with test tube

New method uncovers how internal states influence the living brain to change behavior
In an innovative NIDA-funded study, published in Cell, scientists introduced a modified dopamine receptor gene into the brain of a living vinegar fly, such that when dopamine bound to this receptor, a messenger molecule was released, traveled to the nucleus, and activated a fluorescent reporter gene that could be easily visualized. Investigators successfully used this technique to monitor circuit-specific dopamine activity in response to hunger. This powerful new technique may have general applicability in the genetic dissection of a broad range of internal states, including stress and drug craving. View the abstract ⇒ | Read Article in ASAM Weekly

Data harmonization tool includes new measures for use by substance abuse researchers
Scientists in the field of substance abuse and addiction will now have the opportunity to benefit from a resource that allows researchers to gather, share and compare human-subjects data. The Consensus Measures for Phenotype and eXposures (PhenX) Toolkit, which contains 43 additional substance abuse and addiction measures, will increase the ability of scientists to combine data and work together across studies, promoting the identification of gene-gene or gene-environment interactions related to substance abuse and addiction. Last month, NIDA issued a Notice to the NIH Guide encouraging its grantees to incorporate the PhenX measures into their human-subjects studies. By encouraging the use of this toolkit, NIDA hopes to promote collaboration among researchers from around the world to enhance scientific knowledge in the field of substance abuse and addiction. For more information on the PhenX Toolkit, which is led by RTI International with funding from NHGRI, visit the Data Harmonization Projects webpage.

NOTE: If you cannot access a journal article, please check PubMed Central (PMC), the free, digital NIH archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. You may be able to access it here.

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Other News

Los Angeles City Council Honors National Drug Facts Week and Teen Substance Abuse Music Contest Winner
Group photo from February 10

L to R: John Morabito, Phoenix House Academy; Wanda Nelson, Phoenix House Academy; Dr. Susan Weiss, NIDA; Amanda, 1st Place Contest Winner and resident of Phoenix House Academy; Councilmember Richard Alarcón, City of Los Angeles, District Seven; Erica Krusen, the GRAMMY Foundation/ MusiCares; Harold Owens, the GRAMMY Foundation/ MusiCares.

On February 10th, Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcón paid tribute to NIDA, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares for their partnership during National Drug Facts Week and the Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through music contest. The music contest invited aspiring teen musicians to create a song or music video about making healthy choices and the dangers of drug abuse. NIDA OSPC Director Dr. Susan Weiss attended the event as well as one of the 1st place winners, a 16 year old named Amanda, who wrote her winning entry, "Like a Phoenix in the Air," while in treatment at the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles. Winners of the contest were invited to attend the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards Backstage Experience at the Staples Center that same night. Amanda was interviewed by the Ventura County Star about her song.

NIDA mobile site logo

New Mobile Site
NIDA’s website is now mobile! Visit from your phone, iPad or other smartphone or tablet to see our optimized site. Download materials onto your Kindle, Nook or other E-Book.

NIH Launches New Website: Clinical Research Trials and You
NIH has created a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, to help people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. Visitors to the website will find information about the basics of clinical trial participation; first hand experiences from actual clinical trial volunteers; explanations from researchers; and links on how to search for a trial or enroll in a research matching program. In addition, health care professionals can read about evidence-based strategies for talking with patients about trials, print audience-tested posters to help promote trials in clinics and offices, and find other educational materials.

Learn more about NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network ⇒ | More information on clinical trials at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program ⇒

NIDA Notes Moves to the Web
NIDA Notes logo
Starting in early 2012, after 25 years in print, NIDA Notes became exclusively a Web publication. In its new format, NIDA Notes continues to provide the same highly readable and authoritative coverage of NIDA-supported research plus more content and frequent posting of fresh articles, including: timely coverage of new developments in addiction science; social networking tools, including special-topic feeds and buttons for sharing articles with friends and colleagues; enhanced graphics; easy searching and linking; a glossary; and interactive features. Subscribers now receive bimonthly e-mail updates on new content and notice of special news and events.

Top neuroscientists talk about their research; videos available on NIDA Website
NIDA Deputy Press Officer Sheri Grabus interviews NIDA grantee Dr. Anthony Grace

NIDA Deputy Press Officer Sheri Grabus interviews NIDA grantee Dr. Anthony Grace

Videos of twelve neuroscientists talking about their research are now available on the NIDA website. On November 11th, during the annual Society for Neuroscience NIDA Mini-Convention in Washington, D.C., NIDA’s press team coordinated grantee and NIDA staff video interviews about their work as well as the future of addiction research.

ASAM Launches New Website
ASAM logo
Check out the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) new website. ASAM is a professional society representing close to 3,000 physicians dedicated to increasing access and improving quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addictions. Note: A picture of NIDA’s Jag Khalsa, Chief, Medical Consequences Branch at NIDA, is featured on the site’s membership page banner.

National Drug Facts Week logo

The next National Drug Facts Week will be held the week of January 28-February 3, 2013!

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