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To end drug crisis, bring addiction out of the shadows

11/8/21--Far too often, shame and stigma fuel addiction and prevent treatment, argues Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But replacing judgment with compassion can save lives. Volkow emphasizes that if we’re going to end the current addiction and overdose crisis, we must treat combating stigma as no less important than developing and implementing new prevention and treatment tools. Read

New evidence on substance use disorders and COVID-19 susceptibility

10/5/20--When Dr. Nora Volkow initially reported that there is reason to be concerned that people with substance use disorders (SUDs) may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and its most adverse health outcomes, there was very little data to directly support that hypothesis at that time. Now there is greater confidence to speak on this issue. Patients with SUDs or potentially compromised lung health from smoking and vaping should be monitored closely to best prevent the most adverse complications of the virus. Read

Genetics: The Blueprint of Health and Disease

10/12/20--Family studies that include identical twins, fraternal twins, adoptees, and siblings suggest that as much as half of a person's risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs depends on his or her genetic makeup. Finding the biological basis for this risk is an important avenue of research for scientists trying to solve the problem of drug addiction. Read