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NIDA Notes Articles: All

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Drug Use and Its Consequences Increase Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults

July 2019
The spread of marijuana use and the opioid epidemic over the past 10 years have affected middle-aged and older Americans. In addition, prescription opioid and benzodiazepine misuse increased older adults’ risk of suicidal thoughts.

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Nicotine and Cannabis Have Offsetting Effects on Resting Brain Connectivity

June 2019
These findings add to research showing that nicotine and cannabis have interactive effects on brain structure and function. They also suggest that specialized treatment interventions may be appropriate for people who use both drugs.

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Cannabis Dependence Is Associated With Changes in Neural Circuitry That May Contribute to Psychopathology

May 2019
People with cannabis dependence have changes in neural circuitry in brain regions related to reward processing, habit formation, and psychopathology. These changes in neural circuitry may provide a useful marker for tracking psychopathology associated with cannabis misuse.

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Narrative of Discovery: The Quest for a Medication To Treat Methamphetamine Addiction, Part 4

May 2019
Dr. Linda Dwoskin wins a NIDA grant to continue her team's work to find a medication to treat methamphetamine addiction—but there's a string attached.

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Research Links Adolescent Substance Use to Adult Brain Volumes

April 2019
This research revealed associations between nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana use during two periods of adolescence and smaller gray matter volume in two brain areas at age 25.

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Methadone Maintenance Treatment During Incarceration Has Long-Term Benefits

April 2019
Prisoners who received methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) during incarceration were more likely than prisoners who did not receive MMT to engage in the treatment after being released.

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Interim Buprenorphine Alleviates Psychiatric Symptoms in Waitlisted OUD Patients

March 2019
Interim treatment with buprenorphine significantly improved the psychiatric symptoms of people awaiting comprehensive treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Buprenorphine treatment, even without concurrent psychosocial counseling, may help patients with no, or delayed, access to comprehensive OUD treatment.

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Transcription Factor E2F3a Mediates Cocaine’s Effects on Gene Expression and Addiction-Related Behaviors

February 2019
This study demonstrated that cocaine increases expression of the protein E2F3a in the brain’s reward system. The changes in E2F3a levels in the nucleus accumbens are tied to addiction-related behaviors and to altered gene expression.

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A Promising Alternative to Opioid Pain Medications

February 2019
An experimental compound with a dual action at two opioid receptors may provide powerful pain relief without many of opioids' harmful side effects.

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Disruption of Serotonin Contributes to Cocaine’s Effects

February 2019
This research traced the effects of cocaine-induced disruption of serotonin regulation in the ventral pallidum and orbitofrontal cortex. The findings suggest that these effects may contribute to drug-seeking and cocaine-associated cognitive impairments.

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