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NIDA Notes Articles: All

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Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids May Damage the Heart and Arteries

November 2017
Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is associated with compromised heart pumping and atherosclerotic plaque. Clinicians should inquire about AAS use when young or middle-aged men present with left ventricular dysfunction or coronary artery disease.

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Substance Use Disorders Are Associated With Major Medical Illnesses and Mortality Risk in a Large Integrated Health Care System

October 2017
Strong associations exist between substance use disorder diagnoses and 19 major medical illnesses among patients in a large, integrated health care system. The study indicates that these associations may persist even in health care systems that provide specialized treatment for substance use disorders and have capacity to integrate behavioral and medical care.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Attenuates Rats’ Responses to Heroin

October 2017
High-frequency electrical stimulation of neurons deep in the brain can reduce rats’ relapse-like behavior and motivation to take heroin. The finding strengthens hope that deep brain stimulation might offer a new treatment alternative for opioid addiction, particularly for patients who have not benefited from other treatments.

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EEG Indicates That Cocaine Relapse Vulnerability Peaks 1 to 6 Months Into Abstinence

September 2017
Electroencephalography (EEG) may provide an objective measure of cocaine-addicted participants’ vulnerability to cue-induced relapse. The assessment of cue-induced responsiveness may be useful in the clinical setting for assessing relapse risk and tailoring interventions to maintain abstinence among cocaine-addicted adults. 

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After Showing Promise for Cannabis-Using Adolescents, N-Acetylcysteine Falters in Adult Study

September 2017
In a clinical trial, N-acetylcysteine did not help adults reduce their cannabis use, despite having been effective for adolescents in a previous trial. The results indicated that if adults are able to benefit from the medication, they will likely require a different treatment regimen than adolescents.

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Blocking Protein Complex May Lock Down HIV Reservoirs

September 2017
Inhibiting mTOR, a regulatory protein complex, can prevent reactivation of latent HIV. Medications to inhibit mTOR might help people with HIV achieve and maintain undetectable HIV viral loads.

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Variation in the Gene for the μ-Opioid Receptor May Influence Responses to Methadone

August 2017
A single nucleotide polymorphism in the messenger RNA of the µ-opioid receptor gene was associated with patients’ responses to methadone treatment for opioid dependence.

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Opioid Agonist Treatment Reduces Societal Costs of Crime

August 2017
Patients who initiate time-unlimited opioid-agonist therapy will generate lower average total crime-related costs over the next 6 months than patients who initiate a 21-day detoxification regimen.

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Why Females Are More Sensitive to Cocaine

August 2017
New research demonstrates that the hormone estradiol is responsible for females’ increased sensitivity to stimulant drugs.

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Researchers Speak: The ABCD Study

June 2017
In this video, Dr. Terry Jernigan describes the purpose and goals of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

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