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Opioids and Chronic Pain—A Gap in Our Knowledge

September 2014
Opioid prescriptions have increased three-fold over the past two decades, and we have seen how this skyrocketing availability of medications has helped create a new drug abusing population, some of whom suffer severe health consequences Read More.

8 Comments

Graph showing increased use of drugs in most categories by American Indian/Alaskan Native students - see text

Substance Use in American Indian Youth is Worse than We Thought

September 2014
We have long known that American Indian communities are particularly vulnerable to problems with substance use, which are tied in part to limited socioeconomic opportunity. But because national surveys fail to fully capture drug use patterns on or near reservations, the true scope of the problem has been elusive. Read More.

3 Comments

Marijuana leaf

Science Should Guide Marijuana Policy

August 2014
In a series of recent articles, The New York Times’ editors presented a case for repealing the federal ban on marijuana, including the disproportionate impact of current marijuana laws on minorities. While there is no question that we should rectify any injustices associated with such policies, we also need to consider and prepare for the escalation in social and health costs that could result from creating a third legal drug in this country. We should be thoughtfully examining all policy and regulatory options available to minimize harms to society and promote Americans’ safety, well-being, and competitiveness Read More.

11 Comments

Photo of a group of teens

Seeking Input from the Research Community on the Upcoming Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Substance Use

July 2014
As we wrote in early May, the time is ripe for a large prospective cohort study that will comprehensively assess the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain. Read More.

6 Comments

National AIDS Testing day logo

National HIV Testing Day, June 27, 2014

June 2014
Almost 1.1 million Americans are currently living with the HIV virus, and nearly a sixth of those don’t even know they are infected. That means they aren’t getting needed treatment, and it means they could be passing the infection on to others without knowing. Read More.

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Trends in overdose deaths 1999-2011, of significance from 2006 to 2011, opiod deaths up 28%, cocaine deaths down 35%, heroin deaths up 119%

What Can We Do About the Heroin Overdose Epidemic?

June 2014
A striking new dimension of our nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic is the escalating number of deaths from heroin overdose. Read More.

24 Comments

The Leaky Pipeline!  Career Level Disparities in Neuroscience Programs for URMS

Increasing Diversity in Research

June 2014
Diversity enriches any workforce, and that is especially true of science. People with different backgrounds and experiences may think in different ways, produce different ideas and insights, and approach scientific questions from different angles. Read More.

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Photo of a group of teens

National Longitudinal Study of the Neurodevelopmental Consequences of Substance Use

May 2014
A major new longitudinal study aims to examine the effects of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs on the developing brain. Read More.

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RX Drug Abuse Summit logo

National RX Drug Abuse Summit

April 2014
The Summit brings together people on all sides of the problem, including representatives from government agencies, law enforcement, and the treatment world. Read More.

2 Comments

Commission on Narcotic Drugs 2014

UNODC Recommends Treating Addiction as Health, Not Legal, Issue

March 2014
Earlier this month I went to Vienna for the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). There I chaired a working group that presented a set of recommendations to the CND concerning the most appropriate, scientifically informed way to approach the problem of substance use disorders: as a medical, not a legal, issue. Read More.

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About This Blog

Dr. Nora Volkow

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

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Dr. Nora Volkow: Video Highlights

NIDA Director, Dr. Nora D. Volkow Videos

  • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA): Quality Talks, October 2016
    Treating Addiction Within the Health Care System
  • APA TV, May 2016
    APA TV chats with Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of NIDA to hear about her lecture on drug abuse and the opioid epidemic.
  • Kentucky Educational Television, May 2016
    One to One with Bill Goodman: Dr. Nora Volkow
  • TEDMED, January 2015
    Why do our brains get addicted?
  • The World Science Festival, May 2013
    Meet Pioneer in Science, Dr. Nora Volkow
  • Rockburn Presents, November 2012
    Dr. Nora Volkow
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory WBNL Video, October 2012
    Chemistry celebration: FDG: Contribution to Our Understanding of Addiction
  • CBS 60 Minutes, April 2012
    Hooked: Why Bad Habits Are Hard to Break 
  • Science Times, June 2011
    Dr. Nora Volkow