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Category: Dog Trainer Los Angeles | Author: admin 19.12.2014
In the United States, 550 animal abuse cases were reported in 2012, including neglect, shooting, stabbing, fighting, beating, mutilation, torture, strangulation, burning and poisoning. Many animals suffer multiple forms of abuse, with the most common type of abuse being neglect and abandonment. Dogs and cats are the most common victims, but abuse happens among other animal species, including domestic farm animals, wild animals, small pets and all manner of bird and fowl. All animal cruelty cases are separated into three categories: unintentional, intentional and cruel intent.
Intentional animal abuse and cruel intent both refer to abuse that is performed with the knowledge that an animal is being harmed and possibly injured. Cruel intent is often recurring, and abusers in this category feel a sense of power, control or enjoyment when inflicting pain on others.
After a short conversation with your neighbor, you learn that all three cats are being treated, and they appear healthy and socially adjusted. On the other hand, you notice another neighborhood dog with an obvious flea infestation who also looks emaciated, has open sores on its body, and acts aggressively when approached.
You have to be the eyes and ears for the animals you encounter to ensure that if there is any abuse, it can be stopped in time before serious injury or death occurs. While some are thankful that the scientific progress is successfully tackling human suffering and disease, others cast doubt on the way that progress is achieved.
This growth in animal research in the US is directly linked to an accelerating pace of scientific study and its benefits.
Thanks to the researchers that occupy laboratories around the world, scientific discoveries are coming faster than ever, and all of us benefit. As recent statistics from the UK indicate, the increase in the use of mice and fish in research is driven almost entirely by the increasing number of studies that involve the use of genetically-modified (GM) animals. What the statistics presented by PeTA in their article don’t tell you is that, while the number of experiments and studies have increased, animal research increasingly involves Refined techniques that produce minimized harm to the subjects and Reduced numbers of animals per study.
Furthermore, within the concept of refinement is the idea that researchers should use animals that will suffer less in a laboratory setting wherever possible [2]. Through the implementation of these 3Rs, scientists ensure that they engage in socially-responsible and ethical work.
In 2011 the USDA stopped publishing its animal research statistics on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website (with the last full stats being 2010). These statistics do not include all animals as most mice, rats, and fish are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act – though they are still covered by other regulations that protect animal welfare. We can see that rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters and other rodents) and rabbits together account for 67.3% of all research animals, with cats, dogs and primates accounting for 16% of research.
If we look at the changes between the 2010 and 2012 statistics we can see a drop in the number of animals of most species between 2010 and 2012, with only pigs and cats going against the trend. It is unclear whether the 16% drop represents a clear downward trend for the numbers of animals used in research, or is simply annual variability, though it would fit in a general downward trend in the US statistics since the mid 1980s. The changes, as far as UK science is concerned, are minimal partly because the UK was allowed to keep its standards where they were higher, for instance granting special protection to dogs, cats, primates and equidae. Another reason for this similarity is the fact the UK has been at the forefront of developing the new legislation, bringing the rest of Europe up to the UK’s standards of animal welfare, whilst harmonising legislative differences and dispensing with some of the red tape that had built up over 30 years that wasted time without improving animal welfare.
Some animal rights and abolitionist organisations continue to fret that regulations will somehow be substantially reduced as the guidance is developed over the next several months but if anything the risks run the other way, with unnecessary red tape in the form of data duplication, or the inclusion of details that benefit only campaigning groups which thrive on the misrepresentation of biological research. There is also a rather flippant suggestion that project licences should be published, with personal or commercial information redacted, which appears to misunderstand the fact that the triangulation even of redacted information with published materials and the known specialisms of different researchers or research facilities make identifying individuals a moment’s work. This has serious security, legal and commercial ramifications for some researchers and the institutions charged with protecting their health and safety.
This approach is also in line with the Declaration of Openness signed by over forty leading research institutions and funders. Nevertheless, the de facto changes to UK regulation of animal research are small – the UK has a system, it certainly works well for animals and it should remain so. Of course, anti-research groups will still push to gain more influence over the ethical review process, such as via Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Bodies (AWERBs), which will preview project licenses, as happens now, at a local level. Speaking of Research will continue to keep you updated on developments to the EU Directive and its implementation across Europe.
This goal encompasses all aspects of laboratory animal care— their participation in ethical scientific studies, their humane treatment during daily care and maintenance, and their receipt of the highest standard of clinical care.
In practice, there are a range of individuals who share in the responsibility to provide for animal welfare. Animal research programs always include veterinary staff to provide the animals with clinical care.
Finally, it should mean that in public dialogue the voices of scientists and research advocates are routinely joined by laboratory animal veterinarians, university officials, and others who play important roles in laboratory animal research.  This is true even when that research is controversial and has the potential to elicit attention from animal rights activists. While scientists can address questions about the scientific side of animal research, we need the laboratory animal care and veterinary staff to provide their expertise in service of addressing public questions about clinical care and husbandry.  If they do not, it will be no surprise if the public view of animal research is disproportionately colored by the relatively rare adverse events and the misrepresentations of animal rights activists. Recently, the USDA confirmed that an individual researcher at the University of Rochester was in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. As expected, animal rights groups, such as SAEN (warning: AR website), have used this opportunity to attack animal research, promising to “Expos[e] the truth to wipe out animal experimentation”. We say the system responded appropriately in citing the University because the facts that are apparent about this case strongly indicate that this was an unacceptable deviation from established norms for the care and use of non-human primates in biomedical research laboratories. Speaking of Research must condemn the actions the researcher in question.  Such behavior undermines the hard work that the rest of the animal research community does to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare. The success of our training, accreditation and compliance systems is not only measured by their ability to detect and correct isolated violations, but also in preventing them from occurring in the first place.
There is a deep, fundamental gap between the views of the vast majority of the public and anyone whose moral theory declares permissible to flip a coin in order to decide who to save in a burning house, a human or a mouse.
I explained also why I believe we have obligations to other living beings, but that these obligations do not imply that animals have rights, as they cannot behave as autonomous, rational moral agents in a community of equals.   This, of course, is a point made by Carl Cohen in various occasions. Instead, his attacks on animal research amounted to a potpourri of classic mischaracterizations by animal right activists of the actual science, our true intentions, and personal ethics, all of which are difficult to address in a few minutes in a debate.
I noted that there is vast scientific consensus (92% agreement) from both scientists and physicians alike on the necessity of animal research to advance medical science and knowledge.  He countered that, on this matter, the jury is still out.
He criticized me for not being vegan, while it is evident that even if all scientists were to become vegan tomorrow the research would still be viewed as unethical in their eyes.  (Incidentally, I think the ethics of animal food can be defended, but this is an entirely different topic and debate). I clarified that I am opposed to the use of animals for the development of yet another lipstick, but that there is an obvious need to ensure that any chemicals we bring to our homes are safe to humans and animals alike.  I also noted this is not the type of toxicology work done at our universities. He responded that in fact he would not vaccinate his children (he has none, although he did not say if his dogs are vaccinated), and later he clarified his opposition to vaccination rests not only for ethical but other reasons, which he never explained.  I expressed my dismay at his anti-vaccination position.
Regulations of research has always been an important issue for animal welfarists (as opposed to animal rights activists who start on a fundamentally different set of assumptions). Some activists suggest that because the animal welfare act does not cover mice and rats, that 95% of research is essentially unregulated. For carrying out section 301 and title IV of the PHS Act with respect to drug abuse, [$1,055,362,000] $1,054,001,000. Authorizing Legistlation: Section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. Drug abuse and addiction present tenacious public health challenges, for although preventable, they are also persistent—bringing devastating consequences to individuals, families, and all of society. Rapid technological advances of the past decade have enabled the various sub-disciplines within neuroscience to become increasingly intertwined and thus more capable of ushering progress toward understanding the complexity of the human brain and how drugs affect it. The overlaying of structural, neurochemical, and functional brain imaging information (for both the healthy state and during the pathological state of addiction) will further accelerate discovery by linking molecular and cellular data with human behavior. Our greater ability to identify gene variants, epigenetic events, and brain imaging markers that correlate with or contribute to addiction vulnerability offers exciting opportunities for the development of medications to treat drug addiction. Another critical focus of NIDA-supported research is the intersection of HIV and drug abuse, which have been intertwined since the start of the HIV epidemic, both through injection and non-injection drug use. NIDA’s long-term goals can only be achieved by recruiting and retaining the brightest scientific minds.
NIDA is supporting research designed to elucidate neural correlates of risk and protection that influence brain development and substance use trajectories.
For example, one study of patients addicted to prescription opioids found that compared with non-addicted individuals, addicted patients showed structural alterations in the brain region called the amygdala and decreases in the functional connectivity of several brain regions implicated in the regulation of mood, impulse control, reward and motivation. Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research: This program area supports integrated approaches to understand and address the interactions between individuals and environments that contribute to drug abuse-related problems.
Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences: This program area is responsible for medications development aimed at helping people recover from drug abuse and addiction and sustain abstinence, and includes development of non-addictive pain medications.

Having viable medications available to treat substance use disorders, so costly to our society, would help these conditions become recognized as medical disorders, reducing the associated stigma and facilitating the proper treatment of people suffering from this disease.
Clinical Trials Network: NIDA's National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN), which now comprises 13 research nodes and more than 240 individual community treatment programs in 38 States, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Research Management and Support (RMS): RMS activities provide administrative, budgetary, logistical, and scientific support in the review, award, and monitoring of research grants, training awards, and research and development contracts. These graphs although show some decline in the use of animal testing, the issue is that it is continuing in this day and age.
Be prepared to provide them with dates, locations and specific instances of abuse so that any animals in danger can be rescued immediately. One commonality is obvious – they cause suffering, sickness and sometimes death in people around the world. In a newly published analysis entitled “Trends in animal use at US research facilities” [1], employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) – a self-avowed animal rights organization – report that, amongst the largest research universities in the United States, the number of animals involved in research has grown by over 70% during the past 15 years.
It’s not just that there is more research being done – it’s that the impact of the science is better than ever thanks to more advanced technologies, accumulating knowledge of how the body works and more advanced animals models, including ones that mimic human disease processes in increasingly sophisticated ways that promote new discoveries and new opportunities to develop novel drugs. In other words, the increase is driven by scientific and technological advances that had a profound impact on biomedical research over the past 15 years, rather than any desire to avoid using species regulated by the AWA (while mice and fish studied in Universities are not covered by the AWA, research involving them is regulated in multiple ways, including through the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare which issues the PHS Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals). To take just one example, the National Institute of Child Health and Development recently published an online article entitled “It’s in the DNA: Animal Models Offer Clues to Human Development”, discussing the role of animal models in helping to understand human development and developmental disorders. As vertebrates they share over 84% of the genes that cause disease when defective in humans, while their rapid reproduction and transparent eggs make them ideal subjects for genetic and developmental studies. And of course, animal research directly led to the ability to Replace animals in some types of studies, altogether.
What the authors of the PeTA study should do is to explain how achieving their end goal of a virtual end to animal research, which will reverse the trend of accelerating discovery and medical progress upon which it depends, is ethical or defensible. We have recently received the 2012 statistics for animals used in research under the Animal Welfare Act. In the UK, where mice, rats, fish and birds are counted in the annual statistics, over 98% of research is on rodents, birds and fish. It is also likely that, similar to the UK, a move towards using more genetically altered mice has reduce the numbers of other animals used (those counted by the USDA under the Animal Welfare Act). We continue to have a similarly equipped inspectorate, and it appears we will have a similar ethical review process, but these are the sort of details currently being hammered out in the post-legislation guidance. That said, it should be possible to release more information to the public in the future, if the project licenses are correctly designed and the ground rules set in a certain way, but once again it is researchers, not campaigning groups, leading the way in finding a practicable solution.
Openness is something UK scientists hope will help to reassure the public, as they may come to see the true costs and the true benefits of research for themselves, not through the distorting filter of campaigning groups.
The Directive is an important step in bringing many European countries towards the high laboratory animal welfare standards that exist in the UK. Scientists want a well-financed inspectorate: they speed up project approvals and help with legal compliance. Abolitionists want to sit on these boards so they can more easily dig up campaigning material and have started describing the current system as a “cosy box ticking exercise” or similar, as usual implying a dark conspiracy where there is none in order to wangle a seat at the table, despite lacking credibility, understanding or perspective.
Animal Welfare Act in the 1960s are marked with wide-ranging and significant changes to the administration, oversight, and responsibility for daily operations of institutions engaged in laboratory animal research. Many different types of expertise are needed to provide the best management of a laboratory animal research facility. It means that there is a great deal of shared responsibility for both successes and the occasional failures in the conduct of laboratory animal science.  It also means that any discussion of continued improvements in the daily activities that affect animal welfare, as well as changes in policies that govern the conduct of animal research, should benefit from teamwork among these different stakeholders.
All too often, however, few of these voices are raised when the public eye is turned to issues of concern in animal facilities. Many believe that it is possible—and perhaps acceptable—to ignore this part of reality in order to focus on more immediate demands for time, energy, and resources. The University was the first to discover the problem, reporting it to the USDA (the institution in charge of ensuring that the Animal Welfare Act is implemented), who confirmed the findings of non-compliance. What is worse, deprivation of food for multiple, consecutive days certainly produces profound distress in an animal that should have been identified by the combination of researchers, veterinary care providers and animal husbandry staff who were supposed to be carefully monitoring these animals every day. Furthermore, we commend the USDA and the University of Rochester for the actions they have taken to ensure that such violations do not occur ever again.
Many people do not realize that there are strict protocols that monitor and regulate research.
This could not be further from the truth, and the regulations page will help explain how the various institutional frameworks fit together to ensure the highest standards of care to all animals – be it mouse or monkey. NIDA will work to identify areas of potential savings within the Intramural Research Program that will allow the institute to continue to achieve its program goals and accomplishments. The increase will be used to partially offset the increases associated with cost increases necessary to provide for the effective administrative, planning and evaluation, public information and communication, and scientific leadership of the institute. The good news is that the powerful tools and the detailed knowledge produced by modern neuroscience provide extraordinary opportunities to help solve these problems. NIDA is looking forward to harnessing complete genome and “deep” sequencing capabilities to uncover genetic information at the highest level of detail. The pharmaceutical industry’s limited investment in addiction medications, due largely to stigma and lack of financial incentive, has made medications development a high priority for the institute. Thus, implementation research to foster adoption of proven prevention and treatment strategies for drug abuse and its related health consequences represents a critical investment for NIDA towards improving public health.
One challenge is the lack of access to drug abuse and HIV treatment within those systems where drug abusers find themselves, including the criminal justice system, social services programs, clinical or other settings.
Thus, NIDA supports multiple training initiatives at various career levels and areas of need. Research priorities include those that position the Institute to advance the development of medications, using innovative genetics tools and technologies, and translating the results of evidence-based findings to improve drug abuse interventions and promote greater access to them worldwide.
Large surveys and surveillance networks that monitor drug-related issues exemplify programs supported by this NIDA Division. It capitalizes on research showing the involvement of different brain systems in drug abuse and addiction, beyond the pleasure pathway (reward system), to develop medications in response to a variety of newly defined targets (see Program Portrait below).
Given the dearth of medications available to treat addiction (including nicotine addiction), support of medications development for this purpose will have a major impact on public health and the overall economy. The CTN works to develop treatment protocols for drug abuse and addiction and related conditions, such as comorbid mental health disorders and HIV, testing the real-world effectiveness of promising medication and behavioral treatment approaches with diverse patient populations and community treatment providers. Additionally, the functions of RMS encompass strategic planning, coordination, and evaluation of NIDA's programs, regulatory compliance, international coordination, and liaison with other Federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
In their publication, the authors express alarm over the growing use of animals not covered by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), mostly mice and fish, in biomedical research, without making any mention of the impact of this research growth. It’s not surprising that they are both an increasingly popular species in basic biomedical research, and in the preclinical evaluation of potential new therapies and of the environmental safety of chemicals. The efficacy and efficiency of animal research is advancing, and individual discoveries are, on average, being made with fewer animals. PeTA neglect to mention that USDA statistics show a 40% fall in the use of AWA-covered species over the last 15 years, and it is likely that a small proportion of the rise in use of non-AWA covered species is due to technological advances that have allowed non-AWA species (e.g. Overall the number of animals used in research fell by 16% since 2010, falling over 180,000  from over 1.1 million (2010) to just over 950,000 (2012). Across the EU, which measures animal use slightly differently, 93% of research is on species not counted under the Animal Welfare Act. Although the Directive does not match the UK’s strict animal welfare laws in every area, the UK will retain its higher standards in all areas where they exist.
The abolitionists have then dined out on the millions of examples of suffering they think they’ve identified, when in fact they have once again misunderstood what they are reading. The intent of the legislation, and the central purpose of the accompanying and continuing changes, is to best ensure the welfare of animals in research. Scientists working with animals have expertise in the topic their research addresses, in the activities that research requires, and in use of animals in research. In addition to facility management, clinical care, and daily husbandry there are also divisions of personnel charged with evaluation and oversight of the research, including the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, associated staff, and compliance officers.
Rather, in place of thoughtful answers to questions raised by a range of parties—by the press, by animal rights activists, by other scientists, by USDA reports— what is often offered are generic statements that contribute little to understanding of the events and the context in which they occurred. Consider, however, that a fundamental part of the AWA, accreditation, regulation, and professional obligation is actually to ensure communication with the public that supports animal research.  Thus, it is our entire community who share a primary obligation to engage in the dialogue that surrounds us.
The USDA were quick to identify the violations and publish the results, publicly, on their website.  This is an example of the compliance system at work.
These animals were failed by the people who were responsible for their health and well-being.

For this reason we have created a new page dedicated to the regulations surrounding the use of animals in laboratories.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will continue to leverage its scientific leadership in this country and globally to (1) achieve a better understanding of substance abuse and addiction risk and the consequences of substance use disorders (SUDs) and (2) develop increasingly effective ways to prevent and treat both. Individual differences found in these images of resting brain functional connectivity could provide useful biomarkers (neural signatures) of illness risk, course, and treatment response. This strategy may be particularly useful in identifying barriers to implementation and in testing possible approaches to counter them. To reach vulnerable groups, NIDA is testing the “seek, test, treat, and retain” (STTR) model for identifying and addressing HIV in diverse environments, including U.S. It is one that takes full advantage of scientific advances to transform how we prevent and treat drug abuse and addiction (and related health consequences) in this country and abroad.
NIDA will also continue to make the support of new and early stage investigators a priority.
Collectively, this research provides critical information to develop and test novel prevention and treatment interventions for drug abuse and addiction. Other functional connectivity research is illuminating the neural correlates of risk-related behaviors and individual personality traits. To elicit crucial pharmaceutical interest and involvement, NIDA is also supporting the ongoing development of promising anti-addiction vaccines to derive better adjuvants and haptens (agents that increase the immune response). This shift was prompted in part by the highly successful clinical trials of Probuphine—a buprenorphine medication implanted under the skin—which received fast funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and produced promising early results.
It also serves as a research and training platform to help NIDA respond to emerging public health threats.
NIDA currently oversees more than 1,800 research grants and more than 170 research and development contracts. And under the animal welfare act the following animals are EXEMPTED from the basic protection rules: rats, mice, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. At least in part, it’s coming from the scientific discoveries that are pouring out of the research laboratories located in colleges and universities, institutes and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies around the globe.
These range from the very new areas of optogenetics – which uses light to control activation of individual cells – and gene editing techniques such as CRISPR that have the potential to cure genetic disorders, to new therapies such as cancer immunotherapy and treatments for rare genetic disorders such as progeria and Pompe disease which are being used to successfully treat patients for whom effective therapies were previously unavailable.
We would expect similar patterns to be true in the US – although there are no statistics to confirm this.
From 2014 onwards however they might just find themselves having to vet three and a half million procedures that are no more severe than temporary discomfort or a blood draw: hardly the grim picture of torture suggested by their literature. In fact, by law, it is not scientists who have the ultimate responsibility for oversight of all issues involved in animal welfare, but the attending veterinarian and institutional officials. Depending on their research area, background, and training they may have tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge about the animals’ behavior, psychology, physiology, and other systems. Oversight for the entirety of the animal research program typically rests at the level of university administration. We hope that the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee that supervises these research activities have taken comprehensive measures to ensure that an event like this never happens again.
This covers the role of the Institutional Official, the Attending Veterinarian, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and other regulatory requirements.
Within the total, research priorities include those that position the Institute to advance the development of medications, using innovative genetics tools and technologies, and translating the results of evidence-based findings to improve drug abuse interventions and promote greater access to them worldwide. The following themes and initiatives play prominent roles in NIDA’s strategic approach to tackling SUDs and their diverse medical and social consequences, in terms of legal (nicotine, prescription drugs, inhalants) and illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana). To realize fully the translational potential of this ongoing scientific revolution, NIDA is committed to the development of next-generation methods and tools capable of capturing and analyzing the vast and diverse emergent datasets containing actionable information on everything from genetics to social networks to neuroimaging. Integrating data across all levels of inquiry will help to identify new targets for the development of addiction medications, including those capable of selectively turning genes “on and off” in the affected brain circuits to minimize or even reverse a drug-induced dysfunction. For example, NIDA is supporting research on how best to integrate screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment into primary care and emergency room settings to identify substance related problems early on and prevent their escalation, or to better link those who need treatment with appropriate healthcare services. Success in this arena will hinge on our ability to train a new generation of scientists to create the language, tools, expertise, and infrastructure needed for researchers and clinicians to harmonize and analyze massive bits of data so that clinically useful information can be retrieved. Funds are included in R&D contracts to support trans-NIH initiatives, such as the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet).
For example, NIDA will continue to support epidemiological studies to understand the scope of and underlying reasons for prescription drug abuse to inform prevention efforts and help tailor and evaluate evidence-based interventions (proven effective for other drugs of abuse) to prescription drug abuse. In addition to the infrastructure required to support research and training, NIDA also strives to educate the public about drug abuse and addiction and to raise awareness of the science addressing it. That’s right… in the period from Thanksgiving 2014 until now, new drugs that treat each of these conditions have become available, and these agents will be used to treat the illnesses that may affect millions of Americans. A good example is the innovative BiTE antibody Blincyto (blinatumomab) which was approved for use in treating B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2014 (clinical evaluation against other cancers is ongoing); as we discussed in a blog post in 2008, animal research – particularly studies in mice – played a key role in its development and early evaluation.
In Vivo Toxicity Testing” in: Reducing, Refining and Replacing the Use of Animals in Toxicity Testing.
But it takes more than this to accomplish all that is needed to maintain an animal research program. An overarching goal is to create the infrastructure and linkages needed to implement STTR and to integrate treatment for substance abuse and HIV, generating a large public health impact by reducing the prevalence and consequences of both. Examples of such efforts include the multi-NIH Institute training programs in which NIDA participates, such as those focused on computational neuroscience, which strive to engage students early in a field needing innovation and expertise. Such studies further our understanding of the neural underpinnings of addiction-related traits and behaviors, thus helping to identify biomarkers that could help tailor therapeutic interventions, as well as identify promising new treatments. NIDA also continues to stimulate advances in medications development through its Translational Medications Avant-Garde Awards program, which supports innovative projects that are ready for clinical translation and can accelerate the development of new medications. In addition, advances in our knowledge of how drugs cause the neuroplastic changes that affect brain circuit functioning linked to reward, motivation, and self-control have expanded the scope of pharmacological strategies for interfering with addiction-related behaviors like compulsive drug seeking and use.
For example, researchers at the IRP are exploring promising early findings for the medication +naloxone, an opiate blocker that selectively targets glia cells and not neurons.
This year NIDAMED, NIDA’s physician outreach initiative that provides screening tools and other resources for use in primary care settings, expanded its activities to further break down some of the barriers preventing medical professionals from implementing drug abuse screening in their practices. NIH budget policy for RPGs in FY 2013 discontinues inflationary allowances and reduces the average cost of noncompeting and competing RPGs by one percent below the FY 2012 level. Recent studies have begun to reveal how exposure to drugs can lead to epigenetic changes in the germline, or reproductive cells that can be transmitted across multiple generations through both maternal and paternal lines. Funded studies focus on functional connectivity analyses using rsfMRI data collected from both humans and animals. Such studies are both important and timely as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act stands to increase the number of people accessing substance abuse services. Suboxone, which can be prescribed by qualified physicians in primary care, is an alternative to methadone that can expand the reach of effective drug abuse treatment for opioid addiction. Recent findings suggest that +naloxone can mitigate the behavioral response to both morphine and cocaine as well as the sudden release of dopamine in the brain’s reward center. A NIDA Quick Screen was added to NIDA’s drug abuse screening tool, providing a single screening question for physicians to use with their patients.
Follow-on studies will help identify structural and functional changes in key areas of the brain—such as those implicated in regulating affect, impulse control, reward, and motivation—to uncover the effects of drug abuse on brain structure and function. The goal is to leverage the strengths of public (government agencies and institutes), non-profit (academia, NGOs, philanthropic institutions) and private sector entities to incentivize a steady flow of compounds that can more rapidly progress from “molecules to medicine.” This program area also seeks solutions addressing the medical consequences of drug abuse and addiction, including infectious diseases such as HIV.
Additionally, CTN trials showed that rapid HIV testing can be implemented in community treatment drug abuse centers, thus contributing to more comprehensive health care for drug abuse patients.
Future tests are planned to further evaluate the mechanisms involved, any possible adverse effects and toxicity of the compound, and its potential to treat addiction in humans.
Another national health awareness campaign—this one directed at teens—is NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week (NDFW). The second annual NDFW was a great success, with more than 130 events held in communities across the country helping students learn the scientific facts about drug abuse and addiction. In addition, the interactive Sara Bellum Blog, a key feature of NIDA’s innovative teen website that regularly shares science-based messages about drug use and health, won Silver in the Web Health Awards in spring 2011 for its appeal to teens, with people from various public health organizations asking to be guest bloggers.

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