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NIDA in the News

MAY 2013

Message from the OSPC Director Dr. Jack Stein

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Press Releases

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NIH Study Sheds Light on How to Reset the Addicted Brain
Could drug addiction treatment of the future be as simple as an on/off switch in the brain? Read Press Release on this IRP study ⇒ Media coverage was extensive, including AFP, Voice of America, NIH Director’s Blog, NIH Research Matters, and over 30 other newspaper, radio and online stories. View study ⇒

Prevention Efforts Focused on Youth Reduce Prescription Abuse into Adulthood
Middle school students from small towns and rural communities who received any of three community-based prevention programs were less likely to abuse prescription medications in late adolescence and young adulthood. Read Press Release ⇒ Media coverage included stories in Medscape News Today (login required), Daily Rx, The Partnership at and Iowa State View study ⇒


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Science Spotlights

Genes Linked to Hepatitis C Viral Clearance Could Lead to Personalized Treatments
An NIH-funded study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that possessing either of two specific gene variants make it more likely that a patient’s own immune system can successfully fight off hepatitis C infection. Read more ⇒ | View study ⇒

NIDA IRP Research Shines Light on a Potential Target for Cocaine Addiction
NIDA IRP research published in Cell provided insight into the mechanism of action of the Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R), a protein located inside brain nerve cells that has long been suspected of contributing to the persistent, harmful effects of chronic cocaine use. Read more ⇒ | View abstract ⇒

Prior Marijuana Use Could Increase Addictive Power of Nicotine
Rats previously exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana, found nicotine more rewarding than rats not exposed to THC, according to NIDA research published in Neuropsychopharmacology. Read more ⇒ Media coverage included stories in Fox News Radio, My Health News Daily, Counsel Heal, The Fix and MSN Healthy Living. View abstract ⇒

NOTE: If you cannot access a journal article, please try PubMed Central (PMC), the free, digital NIH archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

REMINDER: If you have a research paper that has recently been accepted for publication and you think it may be newsworthy, please send it to NIDA Press Chief Sheri Grabus at for possible inclusion in a Press Release, Science Spotlight (formerly Research Brief or Note To Reporters) or NIDANotes.

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Other News

NIDA Participates in ONDCP’s Unveiling of 2013 National Drug Control Strategy
Dr. Nora Volkow (at podium)

L to R: Gil Kerlikowske, Tony Batts and Dr. Nora Volkow (at podium)

On April 24, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the 2013 National Drug Control Strategy, the Obama Administration’s primary blueprint for drug policy in the United States. Dr. Nora Volkow spoke together with ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske and Baltimore Police Commissioner Tony Batts at a press conference held at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. View the Strategy ⇒ | View ONDCP Press Release ⇒ | View @NIDAnews Tweets ⇒


Child Mind Institute Webinar Features Dr. Volkow
On May 6, Dr. Volkow was featured in a webinar entitled “Raising Drug-Free Kids: How Can the Science of Addiction Help Us?” Dr. Volkow spoke about addiction as a developmental disorder beginning in childhood and adolescence, during which critical brain areas are still under development.

Author David Sheff Speaks to NIDA Staff
Author David Sheff

David Sheff speaks at NIDA

Author David Sheff met with NIDA staff on April 5th to discuss his most recent book Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. Mr. Sheff is also the author of Beautiful Boy, a New York Times Best Seller that was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2009 by Entertainment Weekly. In 2009, Sheff was named one of Time Magazine's World's Most Influential People, for which Dr. Volkow wrote the tribute. NIDA has served as a resource for Mr. Sheff over the years as he writes about addiction.

NIDA Director Dr. Volkow and Dr. Louis E. Baxter, ASAM

NIDA Director Dr. Volkow and Dr. Louis E. Baxter, ASAM

Dr. Volkow Receives ASAM award
Dr. Volkow was presented with the John P. McGovern Award at the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 44th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference in Chicago, Ill. on April 25-28. The John P. McGovern Award was established in 1997 to recognize and honor an individual who has made highly meritorious contributions to public policy, treatment, research, or prevention which has increased our understanding of the relationship of addiction and society. Dr. Volkow also addressed the gathering with the Lecture on Addiction and Society. Read more ⇒

A number of NIDA symposia at the conference were highlighted in the ASAM Daily News, including sessions on buprenorphine; hepatitis C treatments; post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse; and international addiction treatment trends. Read more ⇒

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Commonwealth Club of CA Features Dr. Volkow
Dr. Volkow spoke on January 14th to the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum. The title of Dr. Volkow’s presentation was “Working to Eliminate Addiction.” Read more ⇒ | Listen to podcast ⇒


Dr. Nora Volkow

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From the Field

NIDA Research Published in Science
Two papers co-funded by NIDA -- “Structural Basis for Molecular Recognition at Serotonin Receptors” and “Structural Features for Functional Selectivity at Serotonin Receptors” -- were recently published in Science. Read Scripps Research Institute Press Release ⇒

NIDA Grantee Publishes Research in JSAT
Dr. Josiah Rich from Brown University and The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI, and senior author on a paper titled "Forced withdrawal from methadone maintenance therapy in criminal justice settings: A critical treatment barrier in the United States," had his research published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Read Press Release ⇒


NIDA Grantees from Duke Focus on Smoking Research
NIDA grantee Dr. Merideth Addicott from the Duke Smoking Research Lab had her research published in The Journal of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Read study ⇒

NIDA Grantee Dr. Jed E. Rose of Duke Center for Smoking Cessation presented research at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s annual meeting on the use of varenicline and/or bupropion as a smoking cessation treatment. The meeting was held March 13-16 in Boston, Ma. View the abstract ⇒


SBIR Awardee Presents Research to NIDA
On April 2nd, SBIR awardee Dustin Chertoff, a research scientist at Intelligent Automation, Inc., presented his research titled “PERSEVERE: A personalized self-efficacy virtual environment recovery experience,” which is a virtual-world game approach for recovery. Read tweet ⇒

Dr. Volkow Interviewed About Grantee Research
The University of Florida College of Medicine interviewed Dr. Volkow for a video about addiction as a brain disease and how NIDA-funded research can help further scientific knowledge on prevention and treatment of drug abuse. View video ⇒

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