February 2013 Fewer teens are using cigarettes, alcohol, and most illicit drugs, according to NIDA’s latest Monitoring the Future study. Troubling trends persist in marijuana use, however, and nonmedical prescription drug use remains a concern.
September 2012 New vaccines that aim to promote recovery from cocaine and heroin abuse showed promise in animal testing. Both vaccines induced rats’ immune system to produce high titers of antibodies that inhibit the target drug from reaching the brain. The rats’ behaviors when given access to the target drug indicated that the vaccines reduced the reinforcing effects that, in recovering people, can cause lapses to turn into relapses.
October 2010 Describes study findings revealing that cocaine abusers who maintain high levels of a certain receptor in their brain during early abstinence relapse sooner than abusers whose levels drop.
December 2008 Describes research findings showing differences in protein concentrations in the brain pleasure centers of people who died from cocaine overdose as compared with those who did not abuse the drug.
March 2011 Describes research findings that show that chronic cocaine abuse may change the production of many proteins in the neurons of the brain’s reward system, aiding in our understanding how the drug causes addiction.
December 2010 Reports on the results of a clinical trial that tested the effectiveness of a cocaine vaccine designed as a therapy for cocaine abuse and plans underway for a new study of 300 patients to confirm these results.