RIA spring seminars feature renowned experts on drugs and alcohol

By Cathy Wilde

Release Date: February 5, 2014

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David Herzberg

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Robert S. Stephens

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Fulton T. Crews

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Claire D. Coles

BUFFALO, N.Y. – This year’s spring seminars at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions will focus on issues ranging from prescription drugs and alcohol to marijuana and cocaine.

RIA’s Spring Seminar Series kicks off Feb. 7 with a talk by David Herzberg, PhD, of the UB Department of History, on “America’s Other Drug Wars: Prescription Drug Abuse and Race in the 20th Century.”

Herzberg, associate professor and director of the History Department’s MA program, specializes in the history of medicine and is currently working on chronicling prescription drug abuse in the 20th century. He is the author of “Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).

On April 4, Robert S. Stephens, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, will speak on “Treating Cannabis Use Disorders.”

Stephens is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on the treatment of substance use disorders using cognitive-behavioral and motivational enhancement therapies. He is co-editor of the book “Cannabis Dependence: Its Nature, Consequences and Treatment” (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

On April 18, RIA will host Fulton T. Crews, PhD, John R. Andrews Distinguished Professor and director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Crews will speak on “Evidence Supporting Adult Dysfunction Suggests Adolescence Binge Drinking Syndrome.”

Crews is a neuropsychopharmacologist specializing in investigating how drugs and alcohol change the brain and behavior. He has made groundbreaking discoveries on how heavy alcohol use damages cortical brain regions involved in impulse control and planning, and is among the few neuroscientists investigating the adolescent brain as a unique neurodevelopmental period that has considerable risk for future alcoholism. He currently serves on NIAAA Council.

On May 2, Claire D. Coles, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, will speak on “Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Regulation of Arousal: Evidence from Neuroimaging.”

Coles is director of the Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Laboratory at Emory. Her research on the developmental and behavioral effects of prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol was among the first to describe the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in infants, young children and adolescents, as well as the effects on the brain in young adults. She also was among the first to investigate effects of cocaine exposure on child development.

All seminars are held at 10 a.m. in Room 132 at the Research Institute on Addictions, 1021 Main St., on UB’s Downtown Campus. They are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact seminar coordinator Rebecca Houston, PhD, at 887-2579 or rhouston@ria.buffalo.edu or visit http://www.buffalo.edu/ria/news_events/seminars/

RIA is a research center of the University at Buffalo and a national leader in the study of alcohol and substance abuse issues. RIA’s research programs, most of which have multiple-year funding, are supported by federal, state and private foundation grants. Located on UB’s Downtown Campus, RIA is a member of the dynamic Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and helps promote UB’s strategic focus on research initiatives. 

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