NIH Press Release

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Monday, Jun. 23, 1997

Mona W. Brown
Sheryl Massaro
(301) 443-6245

Researchers Meet to Discuss Emerging Drug Trends
in U.S. Metropolitan Areas and Internationally

Current and emerging patterns and trends in drug abuse will be discussed at the 42nd meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG) to be held June 24-27 at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. The CEWG is a network of researchers and public health officials from 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas who meet semiannually to share their region’s current patterns and trends of drug abuse. This meeting will also include international findings from members of the International Epidemiology Work Group on Drug Abuse (IEWG). The meeting will be held under the auspices of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.

"For 21 years, the CEWG has given the country frontline reports on emerging drug use trends in the United States," notes Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. AAdvance knowledge of new forms of drug use, such as marijuana ‘blunts’ and reports of localized drug use problems from these important urban areas are invaluable to our understanding of drug use nationwide."

The CEWG model, which uses information from regional public health agencies, medical and treatment facilities, criminal justice and correctional offices, law enforcement agencies, drug use surveys, and other sources, has been adapted successfully at local, State, and international levels.

The report from the previous CEWG meeting, held in December 1996, indicated rises in marijuana use based on increases in marijuana-related emergency room mentions, drug treatment admissions, and other data presented. There was also a rise in new heroin users snorting the drug rather than injecting the drug. Details of these and other findings are in the Advance Report of the December 1996 Meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group, available from the National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) at 1- 800-729-6686.

The CEWG is a network of researchers from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and from the State of Texas. Specific information sources include the treatment data from State substance abuse agencies; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN); the National Institute of Justice’s Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) System; and seizure, price, purity, prescription/distribution, and arrest data from the Drug Enforcement Administration and State and local law enforcement agencies. CEWG meetings are held in winter and summer each year.

The international component of this meeting, on June 26 and 27, will include presentations from researchers and discussions among health officials and academicians representing the United Nations International Drug Control Program, the Council of Europe and the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the World Health Organization; and from selected countries, including Australian, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain.

Dr. Leshner and Mr. Jeremy Travis, Director of the National Institute of Justice, will co-chair an international panel during the meeting focusing on the effective use of epidemiologic data in developing a research agenda, public health policy, and delivery of treatment and prevention services.

The press are invited to attend the meeting from June 25-27. To register or arrange interviews, please call the NIDA press office at (301) 443-6245.

NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction and carries out a large variety of programs to disseminate research information.