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NIDA Notes keeps you up to date on research advances in the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction and HIV/AIDS.

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Study Links Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reduced Mortality From Opioid Overdose (May 2016)

Legally protected marijuana dispensaries (LMDs) were associated with lower rates of dependence on prescription opioids, and deaths due to opioid overdose, than would have been expected based on prior trends. However, LMDs also were associated with higher rates of recreational marijuana use and increased potency of illegal marijuana.

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Sensation Seeking Promotes Initiation, Impulsivity Promotes Escalation of Substance Use (May 2016)

Teens who avidly seek new and intense sensations are more likely to start using substances, but are not more likely to use them regularly within the next 3 years unless they also are prone to devalue distant consequences and act impulsively.

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Dual Regimen Aims To Shorten Medication-Assisted Therapy (May 2016)

Treatment that combines use of Bp/Nx and memantine may enable young adults addicted to opioids establish lasting abstinence after a relatively brief course of medication-assisted therapy, a pilot trial suggests.

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Narrative of Discovery: In Search of a Medication To Treat Methamphetamine Addiction, Part 2 (April 2016)

When lobeline turned out not to be the answer, it became a starting point. Dr. Linda Dwoskin and her team set out to transform the molecule into something more effective and with fewer side effects.

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Testing a Prospective Medication To Help People Avoid Relapse (March 2016)

This NIDA Notes animation depicts a basic experiment that researchers use to test whether a prospective new medication can prevent relapse to drug addiction.

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Gene Variant Is Associated With Reduced HIV Transmission (March 2016)

A gene variant appears to partially shield people whose behaviors entail high risk for exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from becoming infected.

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Protein Diminishes Cocaine Reward and Cocaine-Related Learning in Animals (February 2016)

The protein acid-sensing ion channel 1A (ASIC1A) is naturally present in the brain and reduces laboratory animals’ attraction to environments in which they have experienced cocaine’s effects.

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ED-Initiated Buprenorphine Outperforms Referral or SBIRT for ED Patients With Opioid Addiction (January 2016)

Emergency department visits present prime opportunities to identify people with opioid addiction and provide them with onsite initiation of treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone.

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Gene Transfer Therapy for Cocaine Addiction Passes Tests in Animals (January 2016)

Giving mice a modified version of a naturally occurring gene blocks cocaine’s stimulant effects without affecting the animals’ physiological or metabolic health. The new evidence advances the proposed therapy a step closer to readiness for testing in people.

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Life Skills Training Shields Teens From Prescription Opioid Misuse (December 2015)

Communities that implemented Life Skills Training in a trial more than recouped its cost in reduced health, social, and other expenditures related to teen prescription opioid misuse.

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