Pioneering LSD Brains Scans

The study of psychedelic drugs is particularly difficult for neuroscientists due to legal restrictions and fears about dangerous side effects. While researchers had some understanding of the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) through analyzing the experiences of people who had taken the drug, the neurological response was still a mystery because scientists were never able to conduct brain scans.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

David Nutt, DM, FRCP, a member of the Dana Alliance and former chairman of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, recently conducted the first brain scans showing the brain on LSD. Nutt, a longtime advocate for the study of psychedelic drugs and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), especially as therapeutic tools to treat psychiatric disorders, talked about the importance of studying these drugs in a 2012 interview with us. Nutt said:

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Marijuana and the Brain Briefing


Med-MarThis Tuesday, May 12, join us on Capitol Hill for a public luncheon briefing about marijuana and the brain. Top experts in the
field will speak about medicinal marijuana and the drug’s effect on the brain, as well as research on the impact of state marijuana policies.

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Teen Drug Use Down: National Study

The prevalence of illicit drug use among teens appears to be declining, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA Director and Dana Alliance member Nora Volkow recaps the survey results in this short video.

For more information on the survey, read the University of Michigan’s press release or visit the NIDA website.

Free Webcast on Youth Addiction Tonight

Tune in tonight to the free webcast, “Raising Drug-Free Kids: How Can the Science of Addiction Help Us?” to hear Dana Alliance member and Director of theVolkow, Nora National Institute on Drug Abuse Nora Volkow, M.D., discuss how drug addiction impacts our youth and the importance of prevention.

This webcast is part of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids series, and will run from 8-9pm EST. Register here.

For more information on youth addiction, visit NIDA for Teens.

– Ann L. Whitman

NIDA Gives Teens the Straight Dope on Drugs

A guest post from NIDA’s Sara Bellum Blog team.

The teen years: Emotional turmoil.
Rampant physical changes. A still-developing brain. It's no wonder that adolescence
is a time that holds both promise and risk. Teens are hard at work, through
experience and social interactions, constructing and sharing a narrative to establish their unique place
in the world—one separate from family.
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In the Journal of Social Marketing (February 2013), the National
Institute on Drug Abuse

(NIDA) and IQ Solutions published a case study on NIDA’s Sara Bellum Blog (SBB), an online forum where
teens can engage with NIDA scientists, teachers, and each other to learn the
science behind drug abuse and share comments.

In the case study, the
NIDA blog team
set out to show how SBB can engage teens around the
neuroscience of addiction and, in the process, take advantage of a developmental
window for promoting healthy decision-making.

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