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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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New Studies Clarify Risk Factors for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

January 2019
A recent NIDA-sponsored study found higher rates of NAS among males than among females. A second study found that, among infants whose mothers were treated with buprenorphine while pregnant, NAS was more severe among those whose mothers used other substances.

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Integrated Intervention Benefits People Who Inject Drugs and Have HIV

November 2018
In this international trial, participants who received the intervention engaged in HIV treatment, achieved viral suppression at higher rates, and died at half the rate of participants in a control group.

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Cocaine-Induced Increase in an Immune Protein Promotes Addiction Behaviors in Mice

October 2018
Cocaine produces a portion of its rewarding effects by increasing levels of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in the brain’s reward center. Treatments that prevent G-CSF signaling in the nucleus accumbens might reduce motivation to use cocaine.

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Prescription Opioid Misuse Treatment Leverages Mindfulness To Amplify Natural Rewards

October 2018
Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) reduces opioid misuse among chronic pain patients. MORE shifts patients' attention away from drug cues and toward cues for natural rewards.

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Switching to Reduced-Nicotine Cigarettes May Aid in Quitting Smoking

October 2018
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.

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How Cocaine Cues Get Planted in the Brain

September 2018
An epigenetic mechanism underlies the powerful cocaine–environment associations that promote relapse.

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Proven Prevention Program Aims To Adapt for Native Americans

August 2018
A survey that is a key tool in the Communities That Care prevention system is largely valid in Native American communities. Adjusting the survey to incorporate culturally specific risk and protective factors can improve its usefulness.

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