Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment:
What We Know Works

A Congressional Briefing Sponsored by The Friends OF NIDA
In conjunction with The Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus

Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

Geoff Mumford and Sara Robinson from the American Psychological Association worked with Linda Hay Crawford at Therapeutic Communities of America to organize the debut event for the new Friends of NIDA coalition on Capitol Hill. Twenty organizations representing those with interests in the basic science, prevention and treatment of substance abuse pitched in to co-sponsor the event on July 14, 2004. NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD captivated the audience with an hour-long presentation of cutting edge substance abuse research findings. Dr. Volkow highlighted NIDA priority areas as they relate to prevention, including genetics, development, environment and co-morbidity, as well as treatment research priorities in medications development and behavior. She reviewed three roadblocks that are inhibiting progress on those fronts.

One, a lack of interest by pharmaceutical industry in developing new medications  to treat drug abuse/dependence in large part because of the stigma associated with drug abuse and lack of appropriate incentives to pursue new pharmacotherapies. Two, the difficulty in translating research from the bench to the bedside to the community and NIDA's attempts to bridge that gap with the Clinical Trials Network. Three, the reluctance of primary care health providers to address substance abuse with their patients and to examine the relationship between substance abuse and other medical disorders. The audience, estimated at around 100, included representatives of the co-sponsoring organizations and many interested congressional staff. We are extremely grateful to Congressmen Ramstad (R-MN) and Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) for providing a room for the event and for their overall leadership as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, described in a "Dear Colleague" letter made available at the briefing.

Dr. Volkow's presentation [PowerPoint]

"Dear Colleague" letter about the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus [PDF]

Pictures from the briefing:

Nora Volkow, MD

Nora Volkow, MD, Director of NIDA, discusses the latest scientific advances in substance abuse prevention and treatment.