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2019 Monitoring the Future Survey Raises Worries about Teen Marijuana Vaping

December 2019
For the second year in a row, rapid rises in vaping among adolescents are the top story from the Monitoring the Future survey of drug use and attitudes among the country’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Read More.


Prevention Point

Addressing the Socioeconomic Complexities of Addiction—Lessons from the Kensington Neighborhood in Philadelphia

October 2019
This September, I was invited by Thomas Farley, the Health Commissioner of Philadelphia, to see firsthand how that city is responding to the opioid crisis. We toured Prevention Point, a private non-profit organization providing harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Read More.


Image of cigarette and vaping device with smoke

New Discovery Illuminates Brain Link Between Nicotine and Diabetes

October 2019
Until recently, nicotine’s link to diabetes has been thought to involve inflammation and oxidative stress caused by chemicals in cigarette smoke, but a group of researchers have discovered an unexpected brain-based mechanism tied specifically to nicotine. Read More.


Photo of a cell phone

With NIDA’s Help, Startups Translate Addiction Science into New Technologies

October 2019
Over the past few years, NIDA’s Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI) has used these and other funding mechanisms to help biotech startups develop incredibly innovative technologies that translate addiction science into healthcare and consumer products. Read More.

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NIH HEAL initiative logo

NIDA Announces New NIH HEAL Initiative Awards to Address the Opioid Crisis

September 2019
In Fiscal Year 2019, approximately 375 NIH HEAL Initiative grants, contracts, supplements, and cooperative agreements in 41 states, totaling $945 million, have been awarded to researchers and research teams across the U.S. Read More.


Directors Dr. Nora Volkow (NIDA) and Dr. Joshua Gordon (NIMH)

Suicide Deaths Are a Major Component of the Opioid Crisis that Must Be Addressed

September 2019
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In observance, our two institutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), are taking this opportunity to highlight a dimension of the opioid crisis that receives too little attention—the links between opioid use, opioid use disorder (OUD), and suicide. Read More.


Doctors pushing stretcher down hallway

Emergency Departments Can Help Prevent Opioid Overdoses

August 2019
Common sense and a growing body of research suggest that patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) who receive acute care in an emergency department will be at reduced risk for later overdose if they are initiated on medications to treat their OUD. Read More.


HEAL logo

The Importance of Treating Opioid Use Disorder in the Justice System

July 2019
Effectively delivering OUD treatment in the justice system will give individuals with OUD a chance of recovery, and will make a huge difference in reducing the toll of the opioid crisis in the U.S. It will also bring about additional health and economic benefits like reducing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C and reducing the costs from re-incarceration and family disruption, which are much higher when OUD is not treated. Read More.


Nora Volkow

The Need for Diversity and Inclusivity in Presenting Scientific Research

July 2019
Diversity and inclusion are paramount in all sectors of society, especially in the sciences. Yet it is a well-known (and frequently lamented) fact that males continue to dominate the speaker programs at scientific conferences. Read More.


Group of people of different races and genders

Access to Addiction Services Differs by Race and Gender

July 2019
Disparities in access to quality treatment play a role in every aspect of health care and health outcomes, and the opioid crisis is no different. Read More.

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Dr. Nora Volkow: Remarks and Video Highlights

APA 2015 meeting

  • Marijuana as a Cure for Opioid Use? Nation's Top Drug Scientist Says She's Skeptical, March 2019
  • Meet the Woman Leading the Nation's War on Addiction, October 2018
  • Aspen Ideas Festival 2018: Shining Light on Less Visible Prescription Drug Epidemics, June 2018
  • Dr. Nora Volkow on Addiction: A Disease of Free Will, May 2015
  • TEDMED, January 2015
    Why do our brains get addicted?
  • The World Science Festival, April 2014
    The Moth: The Brain's Addiction - Nora Volkow
  • CBS 60 Minutes, April 2012
    Hooked: Why Bad Habits Are Hard to Break 

About This Blog

Dr. Nora Volkow

Here I highlight important work being done at NIDA and other news related to the science of drug use and addiction.
—Dr. Nora Volkow, Director

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