Next Friends of NIDA Briefing to Focus on Criminal Justice Portfolio

The Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) held its first Executive Committee meeting of 2009 at APA headquarters and discussed plans for the 12th in a series of educational briefings on Capitol Hill.

On January 13, the Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) held its first Executive Committee meeting of 2009 at APA headquarters.  Among the items discussed were plans for the 12th in a series of educational briefings on Capitol Hill, the next of which is scheduled for March 27.  This briefing will feature a review of NIDA’s Criminal Justice and Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJDATS) research portfolio.  NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow will provide a review of emerging neuroscience findings and their potential to inform new therapeutic approaches in these populations, as summarized in the January 14 issue of JAMA.  Psychologist Dr. Steve Belenko, Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University, will draw upon his NIDA-funded research to discuss, among other issues, treatment effectiveness in reducing recidivism, the role of therapeutic communities, the use of pharmacotherapies in pre-release populations, and treatment as a means to prevent HIV and STDs.  Finally, a graduate of a drug court program will share his personal perspective.  The briefing is being sponsored in cooperation with the Congressional Caucus on Addiction, Treatment and Recovery, chaired by Rep. Patrick Kennedy.

The Friends of NIDA will soon be sending a letter to all returning members of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus to thank them for their membership, as well as to new members to introduce the Caucus and encourage them to join.  Attached to this letter will be a presidential transition document developed by the Friends of NIDA.  “Addiction Research: A National Imperative," is a broad-brush primer outlining recommendations for the next administration and providing background information on the etiology of addiction as a brain disease, in addition to findings from the study of prevention and treatment research that should inform future research investments.