National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is an organization founded by the United States federal government. It is a research institute for the government whose sole mission is “to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.” NIDA can be traced back in 1935 when a research institute called Addiction Research Center was established in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1972, there was the creation of Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). The establishment of NIDA in 1974 as [part of the administration of Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health led to its being given authority over NHSDA and DAWN programs. NIDA became an affiliate of National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1992. As part of its endeavor to achieve its mission, NIDA is actively involved in supporting and also conducting research on drug abuse and also all the consequences that come with it. It is also committed to ensuring that such findings of all the researchers are disseminated, effectively translated and implemented to improve the treatment and prevention of the use of substances (NIDA, 2016).
NIDA as an instate has been writing and releasing Newsletters and other modes of publications with its researches widely being used for policy making on the drugs in the United States since 1985. The institute is led by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, who became the Director of NIDA at the National Institutes of Health in 2003. She, therefore, approves all the content that may be present or released for the public’s absorption. Dr. Volkow has over the years played an instrumental role in demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the brain. She is a research psychiatrist and scientist and pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the effects of drug addictions to the brain. Born in Mexico, where she earned her medical degree at the National University of Mexico in Mexico City, receiving a Robins award for best medical student of her generation (NIDA, 2016). She later received a Laughlin Fellowship Award following her psychiatric residency in New York and was named among the top 10 Outstanding Psychiatric Residents in the United States of America. She has also spent a lot of her time in other major leadership positions including Chairman of the Medical Department, Director of Nuclear Medicine, and Associate Director for Life Sciences. She has also spent some time as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and also was an Associate Dean at the Medical School at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Stony Brook. Her excellent writing of research papers is demonstrated in the fact that she has written over 600 per-reviewed articles and written over 95 book chapters and non-peer reviewed manuscripts, she had also been instrumental at editing three books involved in neuroimaging for mental and addictive disorders. It is during her professional tenure and exemplary credentials that have earned her several major awards including in 2013 she was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalist. Following her pioneering the work in brain imaging and addiction science, she received the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research. She was also the featured speaker of the TEDMED 2014 among other major achievements in her line of career (NIDA, 2016).
The NIH has a section of Drug facts of which Cocaine was a featured drug in April 2013 when the information was last updated on the issue. However, the site is updated on periodically, and the last indicated update was in March 2016. The information regarding Cocaine is accurate and reliable though there may be some element of its obsoleteness or it may fail to capture some valuable information that may have come up the past three years since it was written. NIDA has also been criticized for taking some moderated stances on some of the drugs with some expecting that it takes more strict measures over the years. It is their research findings and publications that have also been used to cause controversy over the debate in various drugs over the years. However, the information provided on Cocaine is nonbiased since they are the government’s body in charge of conducting researches hence the information provided is pegged upon some form of research.
On the other hand, Psychology Today is a magazine that is published every two months in the United States. It is dedicated to making publications the subject of “Ourselves.” It was formed in 1967 by Nicolas Charney who intended to ensure that it provides literature on psychology to the public through making it more accessible (Psychology Today, 2015). It mainly focuses on behavior covering a range of topics including neuroscience, relationships, parenting, psychology, health, work and all aspects of the current affairs from a psychological perspective. It encompasses and has several psychologist, psychiatrists, medical doctors, sociologists, science journalists and social workers as the affiliates in the magazine. From 1983 to 1987, it was owned and managed by the American Psychological Association and is currently endorsed by the National Board for Certified Counselors, promoting subscriptions and also offers professional credit (Psychology Today, 2015). They are also in charge of the assessment of all the articles in the magazine meaning that the article on cocaine contained in the publication is peer reviewed thus increasing its reliability.
The Editor In Chief, who is ensures that the publications are both valid, accurate and up to date is Kaja Perina. She graduated with honors in comparative literature and cognitive science from Vassar College and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia. Over the years, her writing with Psychology Today has been labeled as "The Best American Science Writing." Before her tenure with Psychology Today, she has also worked with other magazines including Brill's Content and Vogue (Perina, 2014).
The information provided in the magazine regarding Cocaine is highly reliable since it contains some form of a citation from other primary sources of research and their findings including the National Institute of Drug abuse and also the American Council of Drug Education all of which are very reliable sources of research. The information is also up to date since it was last reviewed on December 2015.
The article that is clearly more credible between the information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Psychology Today is the one by NIDA. It is because; NIDA is a primary source of the information since it makes the researches on itself. It is also documentation by the government which is objective and also aimed at ensuring that the country is kept in perspective and also up to date regarding specifically drug abuse. It has focused on one area as compared to Psychology today that has broadened its scope to multiple areas of psychology and other fields. Moreover, Psychology today is am a magazine that aims at attracting ads much of the customers as possible and also aims at maximizing its profits as compared to the NIDA that is primarily involved in providing the information and conducting research for public consumption. It provides the information and also publishes its publications for free since it is government funded which means that they may not be biased in any way to suit the needs and also to align itself with the needs of the customer. They ensure objectivity that may be a source of conflict of interest that may occur to the profit making ventures. Furthermore, the publications by Psychology Today are done by Journalists and not experts in the field of psychology or drug abuse in most cases including the issue on Cocaine.
In comparison with a peer-reviewed article in the Update website, the information provided by NIDA is updated and also valid. The article by UpToDate site is named Cocaine use disorder in adults: Epidemiology, Pharmacology, clinical manifestations, medical consequences, and diagnosis and is authored by David A Gorelick, MD, Ph.D. It is up to date since the article in the section are updated with any changes that may occur on the topics and was last updated in April 2016 and also goes through a peer review process.
In agreement, the two types of research assert that Cocaine addiction is highly a mental health issue and that it is a highly addictive drug found in plants located in Andes Mountain region of South America. The researchers also agree on the fact that Cocaine produces a short term Euphoria and energy and that it is highly dangerous since it has to some physical effects such as raised heart rate and subsequently increases the blood pressure (NIDA, 2013; Gorelick, 2016). They also associate the use of cocaine with other drugs such as smoking and that it is an illegal drug. Cocaine is also a stimulant since it enhances the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine and their activities in the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is associated with the increased dopamine activity that results in a form of reward that the users refer to being high. It is also linked to some illnesses including the Cocaine disorder and also HIV/ Aids spread through the sharing of the needles (NIDA, 2013; Gorelick, 2016).
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