The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will present a five-day track of symposia addressing the latest clinical and research knowledge in addiction psychiatry at the APA annual meeting in San Francisco.
It will begin Saturday, May 18, when Petra Jacobs, M.D., an associate director for program development, and Udi Ghitza, Ph.D., a health scientist administrator, both of NIDA’s Center for Clinical Trials Network, will chair the session “Smoking Cessation in Patients With Severe Mental Illness: New Research Findings and Clinical Implications.” This symposium will feature recent findings on safety and efficacy of varenicline in patients with severe mental illness, as well as the impact of concurrent smoking-cessation and stimulant-dependence treatment on outcomes. New technologies used for delivery of smoking-cessation interventions will also be discussed.
On Sunday May 19, Yu Lin, M.D., Ph.D., a program director of NIDA’s Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavior Research, and Scott Kollins, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, will co-chair “Smoking and ADHD Comorbidity: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications.” Presenters will describe the association between a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and risk for cigarette smoking, identify mechanisms that underlie the link between ADHD and smoking, and discuss evidence-based treatments for patients with comorbid ADHD and nicotine dependence.
The track continues on Monday, May 20, when Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E., director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research at NIDA, and Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., an associate director for science in that division, will co-chair a session titled “Comorbid Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders: Common and Specific Influences and Implications for Early Identification and Treatment.” They will discuss the impact of psychiatric disorders on development of substance use disorders and discuss how to apply behavioral genetics research findings to the diagnosis and treatment of comorbid psychopathologies and substance use disorders.
A second symposium on Monday, May 20, “Advances in Pharmacotherapies for Substance Use Disorders,” will be co-chaired by Phil Skolnick, Ph.D., director of the Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, and Ivan Montoya, M.D., M.P.H., a deputy director in that division. They will discuss medications and biologic therapeutics recently evaluated in clinical trials for substance use disorders, including depot naltrexone, implantable buprenorphine, and an engineered butyrylcholinesterase.
The addiction psychiatry track will continue on Tuesday, May 21, with “Cannabis Use and Youth: Updates on Risk, Assessment, and Treatment,” co-chaired by Geetha Subramaniam, M.D., a team leader of the Behavior and Social Science Team of NIDA’s Center for Clinical Trials Network, and Kevin Gray, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. Topics will include the neurocognitive effects of cannabis use on youth, as well as interventions and pharmacological treatments for youth who abuse cannabis.
NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., will present an APA Frontiers of Science Lecture at the annual meeting.
Also on Tuesday, NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., will present “Substance Use Disorders: New Scientific Findings and Therapeutic Opportunities,” part of the APA Frontiers of Science Lecture Series.
Wrapping up the track on Wednesday, May 22, Richard Denisco, M.D., M.P.H., a medical officer in NIDA’s Services Research Branch, and Will Aklin, Ph.D., a program official in NIDA’s Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Branch, will co-chair “Update on Prescription Opioid Abuse and Treatment Options for the Psychiatrist,” which will focus on epidemiological trends in prescription drug abuse, as well as diagnostic and treatment options for patients with chronic pain and co-occurring psychiatric disorders including addiction.
Meeting goers will once again have the opportunity to view NIDA’s popular Addiction Performance Project, which will be held Sunday, May 19. It is part of NIDA’s outreach to practicing health professionals and trainees and consists of a dramatic reading of Act III of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” followed by an expert panel presentation and audience discussion on caring for drug-addicted patients. The part of Mary Tyrone will be played by Kate Burton, whose television credits include Dr. Ellis Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy” and Vice President Sally Langston on “Scandal.” (The actor playing James Tyrone has not yet been announced.) The project was developed and produced by Outside the Wire (http://www.outsidethewirellc.com), which uses theater and other media to address pressing public health issues. Registration for the annual meeting is required to attend this event. Students may attend for free. ■