May 2014 One of NIDA’s goals is to try to understand the individual differences that contribute to whether or not someone who takes a drug will become addicted to it. Dr. Rutter’s research focuses on three types of differences: Environmental, developmental, and genetic and epigenetic.
April 2014 Exposing rats to THC increases the likelihood that the animals will later self-administer nicotine. THC-exposed rats are also willing to work harder to obtain nicotine. When extrapolated to people, the findings suggest that THC’s pharmacological impact on the brain may make a person who uses marijuana more vulnerable to developing nicotine addiction, an underappreciated health consequence of marijuana use.
October 2014 Despite common concerns that encouraging patients to quit smoking might endanger their success in treatment of substance use and mood or anxiety disorders, smoking cessation appears unlikely to hinder and may even help recovery.
Smokers who switch to cigarettes with very low nicotine content may experience mild and transient increases in some withdrawal symptoms. Cigarettes with reduced nicotine will be easier to quit than the cigarettes marketed at present.
November 2014 The finding from an 18-month-long clinical trial strengthens hope that pharmacotherapy can break nicotine’s especially tenacious hold on people with serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.