• NIDA

    Government Spotlight: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) was established in 1974 by the federal government to be the focal point for research, treatment, prevention, training, services, and data collection related to drug abuse.


    According to NIDA's website, the organization's mission is to be a leader in the United States in using the power of science to understand the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The organization aims to help drive research across a broad range of disciplines and to ensure that results from the research help improve prevention and treatment and inform policy related to drug abuse and addiction.

    The NIDA is led by Director Nora D. Vokow, M.D.  She has been the director since 2003.  Her biography states that she has helped demonstrate that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain.  Prior to becoming the NIDA Director she was a research psychiatrist and scientist and pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of abusable drugs. 

    The NIDA has played a significant role over the years in helping understand drug abuse and addiction by conducting research, funding research initiatives, developing drugs to treat addiction, and developing guidelines to help prevent drug abuse, to name a few.

    The NIDA's website lists the following types of research and training on the following:

    • Genetic, neurobiological, behavioral, and social mechanisms related to drug abuse and addiction
    • Drug abuse causes and consequences  and its impact on society and populations
    • The relationship of drug abuse to other mental illnesses and psychosocial outcomes
    • Creating effective prevention and treatment approaches that include researching or developing medications and behavioral therapies for drug addiction
    • Understanding the relationships between drug abuse and cultural or ethical issues
    • Researching the relationship of drug abuse as it relates to transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other diseases, and how to prevent or intervene in preventing an increase in these diseases

    In addition to research and training, the NIDA also has published a great deal of information including educational programs, fact sheets, guidelines and manuals, and journals on addiction science and clinical practice to name a few.  Funding opportunities also exist for researchers and scientists to conduct studies related to drug abuse, addictions, or neuroscience.  Applicants can apply for NIDA or NIH funding opportunities.

    Students of our psychology programs and who are specializing in addictions or substance abuse may find a great deal of information the NIDA's website to learn about drug abuse and addictions topics, treatments, or prevention.  The NIDA is also a good resource for people struggling with addiction or who know people who may need help. Educators and psychology professionals can also find important facts and information they can use to help educate others about addiction and drug abuse topics and treatments.  Visit www.drugabuse.gov if you are interested in learning more.

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