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Demand Reduction Technologies

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This "Brief" describes the current work of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC).
The CTAC has investigated the scientific reasons why crack cocaine is so addictive and what can be done about it. CTAC is sponsoring an innovative project at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. The project is hoping to discover and produce an artificial enzyme that will protect the body from the addicting effects of cocaine. CTAC is also sponsoring a comprehensive study of alternative drug-testing technologies, including tests for the presence of drugs in hair, saliva, and perspiration. Further, CTAC has funded a project at the Addiction Research Center that is examining the causes and treatment of drug addiction; to measure the effect of drugs on the human brain, CTAC is working with a new technology, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which provides neuroscientists with unique abilities to measure brain biochemistry. Building on recent advances at the Addiction Research Center, CTAC is also working to discover the causes and physiological effects of drug abuse; this effort focuses on production of isotopes, compounds used as markers in the human body, allowing scientists to trace certain effects on the body's organs and systems. Also discussed in this "Brief" are the CTAC's Drug Evaluation Network System, CTAC's forensics support, the Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectrometer program, drug field test kits, and the coordination of research.