Archived News Releases

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Teens using e-cig devices not just for nicotine

 |  A recent analysis of the 2015 Monitoring the Future (MTF) findings on e-cigarette use highlights uncertainty about what teens are actually inhaling when using "e-cig" devices, and at least six percent report they are using the vaporizers to inhale marijuana.

Smoking cessation success linked to sex difference

 |  A meta-analysis of smoking cessation therapies, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), showed that clinicians should strongly consider varenicline as the first treatment option for women who are trying to quit smoking.

Co-prescribing naloxone in primary care settings may reduce ER visits

 |  Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that patients taking opioids for long-term chronic pain, who were given prescriptions for naloxone in a primary care setting, had 63 percent fewer opioid-related emergency department visits after one year compared to those who did not receive prescriptions for naloxone.

College and young adult drug use data now available online

 |  The latest (2014) college age MTF data shows that more students are using marijuana daily than are drinking alcohol daily. Survey results suggest that the non-medical use of the stimulant Adderall is higher for the college group than their non-college peers; and there has been an uptick in cocaine use among college students.

Extended-release naltrexone lowers relapse rates in ex-offenders

 |  New research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) revealed that the relapse rates among criminal justice involved adults with a history of opioid dependence were lower for participants receiving extended-release naltrexone than for those receiving treatment as usual (brief counseling and referrals for community treatment programs).

Marijuana Use Raises SUD Risk

 |  The health impacts of marijuana are currently the subject of significant public debate. Past data have suggested a link to numerous mental health outcomes including substance use disorders (SUDs), mood disorders, and anxiety, although whether marijuana use actually causes these conditions, or just shares common contributing factors, has been difficult to specify.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis retires

 |  Dr. Huestis’ research program has sought to discover mechanisms of action of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, effects of in utero drug exposure, and the neurobiology and pharmacokinetics of novel psychoactive substances, the emerging face of drug abuse.

Factors Predicting the Transition from Prescription Opioids to Heroin

 |  Prescription opioid misuse remains one of America’s biggest drug problems. In recent years the numbers of people misusing prescription pain relievers has leveled off, however, the number of people dying from overdoses continues to rise, and a new epidemic of heroin use has emerged as many people misusing prescription opioids transition to their cheaper, often easier-to-obtain street relative.

NIDA editorial urges safer opioid prescribing practices for pregnant women

 |  Recent research sheds light on the risks of prescribing opioids to pregnant women and their exposed infants – underscoring the importance of following good opioid prescription practices, according to an editorial published today in the British Medical Journal by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Teen Opioid Prescriptions Raise Risk of Later Opioid Misuse

 |  A new study using data from the NIDA-funded Monitoring the Future survey of adolescent drug use and attitudes conducted annually by the University of Michigan shows that teens who received a prescription for opioid pain medication by Grade 12 were at 33 percent increased risk of misusing an opioid between ages 19 and 25.

Drug use trends remain stable or decline among teens

 |  The 2015 Monitoring the Future survey (MTF) shows decreasing use of a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, prescription opioid pain relievers, and synthetic cannabinoids (“synthetic marijuana”). Other drug use remains stable, including marijuana, with continued high rates of daily use reported among 12th graders, and ongoing declines in perception of its harms.

NIDA announces new awards for the Clinical Trials Network

 |  The grants will support studies on behavioral and pharmacological therapeutic interventions in rigorous, multi-site clinical trials to determine their effectiveness across a broad range of community-based treatment settings and diversified patient populations.

Nef Protein Helps HIV Virus Overcome Immune Cell Defenses

 |  A new NIAID- and NIDA-funded study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that Nef enhances the ability of HIV-1 to take over immune cells specifically by reducing the expression of two proteins in the surface of those cells (i.e., transmembrane proteins), SERINC3 and SERINC5.

Brain structure and predisposition for cannabis use

 |  A new study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and elsewhere and partly funded by NIDA—the largest study to date examining cannabis exposure in relation to brain volume—used neuroimaging data from a sample of twins and siblings (483 participants total) to examine the extent cannabis use causes structural effects in the brain.

Do rats prefer palatable foods over meth?

 |  Recent research has shown that most rats will choose non-drug rewards (palatable foods) over self-administering cocaine, if given the option.  A new study by researchers at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program examined whether such a preference generalizes to rats with a history of limited or extended access to another stimulant drug, methamphetamine.

Nasal spray naloxone one step closer to public availability

 |  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is pleased to announce that Adapt Pharma Limited, a partner of Lightlake Therapeutics Inc., has commenced a rolling submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a nasal spray formulation of naloxone, a drug designed to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

Recreational marijuana use associated with increased impulsivity and hostility in daily life

 |  In a recent 14-day study using a smartphone-based EMA, recreational marijuana users (average use of 4.5 days over the past 30 days) who also drank alcohol at least once per week answered questions each day regarding their alcohol consumption, marijuana use, and number of cigarettes or cigars smoked. Participants also answered questions to assess hostility following any interaction with another person that lasted longer than five minutes. In addition, end-of-day surveys were completed to measure impulsivity.

The science behind designer drugs

 |  “Designer drugs,” such as bath salts (synthetic cathinones) and spice (synthetic cannabinoids) are manufactured to chemically resemble illicit drugs but can often be purchased legally because manufacturers continually modify their chemical structures in order to circumvent drug laws.

NIDA researchers discover further complexity in brain reward circuitry

 |  NIDA scientists have identified new complexities within the brain’s reward circuitry that involves two major chemicals involved in drug addiction -- dopamine and glutamate. Researchers used rodent models to better understand a specific brain circuit where dopamine and glutamate are both released from the same brain cells.

Genetics influence response to prevention intervention

 |  A new NIDA-funded study examined whether an individual’s collective gene-based sensitivity to the reinforcing aspects of nicotine (or his/her polygenic score ) had an impact on how much he or she benefited from an elementary-school-based prevention intervention, as assessed by age of smoking initiation.