NIH News Advisory
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Monday, October 30, 2000

Beverly Jackson
In Los Angeles, Michelle Muth
Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel,

National Meeting in Los Angeles to Focus Attention on Drug Addiction and Treatment

National and local experts on drug addiction and its treatment will gather in Los Angeles from October 30 through November 2. The meeting is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center, Los Angeles County Alcohol and Drug Program Administration, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The agenda is devoted to discussions about recent progress in drug addiction research, processes to facilitate the application of research findings to treatment, and addiction-related concerns and issues of particular interest to the Los Angeles area.

Two separate meetings are planned. The largest, "Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Treatment," will be held at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 5400 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, on November 1 and 2.

The focus of this meeting is to catalyze partnerships to facilitate moving drug addiction research into clinical practice. Over the past few years, this research has yielded fresh insights into the effects of drugs on the structure and function of the brain. This enhanced understanding has opened doors to new approaches to treatment and prevention of drug abuse and addiction.

Local officials, drug treatment counselors, social workers, criminal justice staff, marriage and family counselors, and public health workers who treat individuals with drug abuse or addiction problems are expected to attend. Civic leaders and policymakers who wish to learn more about drug addiction and treatment are also expected to attend.

Discussion topics include:

Workshops will be held on the effects of drugs on the brain and behavior; club drugs; gender issues in treatment; methamphetamine treatment; the effectiveness of treatment; innovations in medication development for treating addiction; gender issues in drug abuse treatment; and other subjects.

In addition to NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner, featured speakers include Jonathan Fielding, Director of Public Health in Los Angeles County; Dr. Peter C. Whybrow, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UCLA; and other California-based health officials and researchers.

Prior to the "Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Treatment" meeting, NIDA is convening its National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) investigators to discuss research and treatment advances that have evolved out of this program. This network is modeled on clinical trial designs that have been successful in contributing to the development and testing of treatment regimens for diseases such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease. It is the first time the clinical trial network model has been applied to addiction treatment. It allows researchers and treatment providers, working in partnership, to test, in real-life settings, science-based behavioral and pharmacological treatments for addiction. The University of California at Los Angeles is a member of the Clinical Trials Network.

Note to reporters: The CTN meeting is October 30 to 31. Media are invited to attend the October 31 session, which begins at 8:30 a.m., to learn about progress in drug addiction treatment. The CTN meeting is at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel. For more information and to register, call the NIDA Press Office, 301-443-6245.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish through NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at