Warren K. Bickel, director of the Center for Substance Abuse at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, examines decision-making processes in the brain that support dysfunctional decision-making, including addiction, and seeks novel therapeutic means to repair those processes.
Warren K. Bickel, director of the Center for Substance Abuse at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the American Psychological Association Don Hake Translational Research Award. Sponsored by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the award recognizes individuals whose work spans basic and applied research.
According to awards chair Cythia Pietras, the award is being presented to Bickel for his contributions to understanding drug dependence and treatment, impulsivity, and behavioral economics, and for disseminating that work to a wide audience.
Bickel, who is a professor with the research institute and professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, examines decision-making processes in the brain that support dysfunctional decision-making, including addiction, and seeks novel therapeutic means to repair those processes. One area of his research is directed at the process involved in preferring instant gratification over a future health benefit. His research demonstrating that this preference for immediate rewards can be changed with a novel therapeutic approach appears in the February 2011 issue of Biological Psychiatry.***
According to Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Executive Director Michael Friedlander, “Dr. Bickel’s research is blazing a new path to understanding how the brain’s temporal discounting system –the ability to differentially value things based on how far into the future they may occur — contributes to decisions regarding substance abuse, as well as how the executive processes in the human brain can be enhanced through rehabilitative training to potentially improve outcomes for those who are affected by substance abuse. He also has a commitment and well honed skill for effectively communicating the significance of his work to the scientific and medical communities and the general public. We are very fortunate to have such a talented scientist and communicator as part of the research institute here in Roanoke.”
DALLAS – Feb. 3, 2011 – UT Southwestern Medical Center psychiatry researchers(Division of Addictions)are leading the Texas arm of a national network that conducts clinical trials aimed at finding effective treatments for drug addiction.
More than 100 community treatment providers and academic medical centers throughout the country are funded in part through the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network (CTN). The Texas component includes partnerships between academic and community treatment providers in Dallas, El Paso, Austin and Houston. It is led by Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern.
“The effects of drugs on the brain are very clear, but we still need long-term answers that cure people who abuse drugs and prevent them from relapse,” Dr. Trivedi said. “I applaud NIDA for funding the infrastructure at academic institutions to research therapies in real-world treatment centers that will lead to ready-to-launch cures. Drug abuse affects not just the person, but families and society as a whole.”
Each CTN study is conducted in multiple community treatment provider sites across the country, led by a CTN substance abuse researcher and supported by the researchers in the CTN academic institutions affiliated with each participating site.
“It is critical to find new treatments in the substance abuse field where current treatments result in only modest improvements. Finding effective interventions really requires larger, multicenter treatment trials like those occurring in the CTN,” Dr. Trivedi said.
One such national study within the CTN is the Stimulant Reduction Intervention Using Dose Exercise (STRIDE)**, led by Dr. Trivedi. It is a groundbreaking study that tests the short and longer term effectiveness of adding either exercise or health education to treatment as usual in adults who abuse stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Sites participating in this study in Texas include Nexus Recovery Center and Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center as well as multiple other sites across the country.
Other studies being conducted in the CTN in Texas include a trial that tests whether an interactive web-based therapy added to usual treatment improves abstinence from drug use, and a trial that examines whether medication, counseling, and incentives to quit smoking added to usual treatment improve abstinence from drug use.
Dr. Trivedi recently received a renewal of the National Institute on Drug Abuse‘s grant to continue contributions to improve the treatment of addiction for several additional years and said he expects to receive nearly $4 million over the next year.
A national CTN goal for the next few years is to engage other types of medical doctors and treatment settings who treat people addicted to drugs, in research, including primary care, internal medicine and emergency-room physicians. “We will be expanding our reach,” Dr. Trivedi said.
Drug Abuse Treatment Rates on the Rise: U.S. Report
A 15% drop for alcohol abuse while cases of marijuana, prescription painkiller abuse rise
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) — Admissions for alcohol abuse treatment have remained the same in parts of the Midwest and South while dropping elsewhere in the United States, while treatment rates for illegal drugs are increasing across the country, especially for marijuana abuse, according to a new report.
The report, issued by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), includes these findings:
- The overall rate of substance abuse admissions in the United States remained stable from 1998 to 2008, at about 770 admissions per 100,000 people.
- Admissions for alcohol use dropped by about 15 percent nationally, but stayed stable in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
- Admission rates for marijuana use rose by 30 percent nationwide, and were highest in the eight states listed above and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- An earlier SAMHSA report revealed that admission rates for abuse of opiates other than heroin — including some prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin — rose by 345 percent from 1998-2008. The new report says admission rates for painkiller abuse rose in every part of the country and were highest in the New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) and in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
- The admission rate for treatment of methamphetamine abuse was 53 percent higher in 2008 than in 1998, although it’s down from its peak in 2005.
- Admissions for cocaine abuse fell by 23 percent nationally.
“This study provides insight into the regional nature of substance abuse by highlighting the shifting trends in the reasons for admission to substance abuse treatment,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release.
SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, news release, Dec. 23, 2010
The full report is available at: http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds08/teds2k8sweb.pdf. It provides detailed charts and tables showing the admission rates for a wide variety of substances for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for each year over the course of this 11 year period. It also provides data by Census divisions — groups of states delineated by the Census Bureau. These materials allow easy analyses of changing admission trends for any state or region of the country.
The SAMHSA Web site includes numerous links with information about its products and services, as
- Treatment locators for substance abuse and mental health issues
- Prevention programs, services, and information
- Information and services for military families
- Health care reform initiatives
- Housing programs and assistance for the recovering homeless
- Statistics relating to mental health and drug abuse
- A trauma and justice page focusing on increasing support for recovery programs in place of criminal justice programs
- At NIDA for Teens, learn how drugs affect the body and hear from teens who’ve struggled with addiction. This interactive web site has quizzes, videos, games, and a blog that shows the science behind drug abuse.
March 30, 2011
- Alcohol And Marijuana Were The Most Commonly Abused Substances By Those Referred To Treatment From Probation Or Parole (addictionts.com)
- ER Visits from Ecstasy Jump 75% from ’04 to ’08 (scienceblog.com)
- The Adolescent Brain and Substance Abuse | Drug Addiction Treatment (shammond.typepad.com)
- Medical Marijuana Might Slow Thinking Among MS Patients
- White House launches battle on prescription drug abuse (cnn.com)
- High rates of substance abuse exist among veterans with mental illness (eurekalert.org)
- Teen drug abuse: 14 mistakes parents make (cbsnews.com)
- SAMHSA Press Release on Block Grant Changes (asapnys.wordpress.com)
- Adults Represent A Majority Of Inhalant Treatment Admissions (addictionts.com)
- Marijuana Use May Hurt Intellectual Skills In MS Patients
- ADHS Establishes Rules For Medical Marijuana Program
- How Support Groups Can Aid in Addiction Treatment (everydayhealth.com)
- ‘New Ecstasy’ Poses Major Health Risks, Reveals Research, UK (Medical News Today, 3 April 2011)
- Nearly All American Adults With Untreated Alcohol Use Disorders Don’t Think They Need Treatment (addictionts.com)