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NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIDA/      

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Mission


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides national leadership for research on drug abuse and addiction. Through its extramural research program and its intramural research program at the Division of Intramural Research in Baltimore, NIDA supports studies on the biological, social, behavioral and neuroscientific bases of drug abuse as well as its causes, prevention, and treatment. In addition, NIDA supports research training, career development, public education and research dissemination in these areas. Through grants and contracts to investigators at research institutions around the country and overseas, NIDA supports research and training on:

  • the neurobiological, behavioral, and social mechanisms underlying drug abuse and addiction

  • specific biomedical and behavioral effects of drugs of abuse, including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine, on the body and brain

  • effective prevention and treatment approaches, including a broad research program designed to develop new treatment medications and behavioral therapies for drug abuse

  • the causes and consequences of drug abuse, including impact on society and morbidity and mortality in selected populations, e.g., ethnic minorities, youth, women

  • investigation of the relationship of drug use to other problem behaviors, e.g., psychopathology, unemployment, violence

  • biomedical, behavioral, and social factors associated with vulnerability/invulnerability to drug abuse and addiction

  • the role of drug abuse as a factor contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases and the development of effective prevention/intervention strategies

  • research on the mechanisms of pain and the search for a nonaddictive analgesic

  • research on tobacco and nicotine addiction.

NIDA’s intramural research program is located in Baltimore, Md. Originally known as the Addiction Research Center, it conducts multidisciplinary research on basic biological and behavioral mechanisms that underly drug abuse and dependence, including its causes and adverse consequences. Research is also supported on treatments for drug dependence and HIV transmission by injecting drug users. Studies range from molecular to laboratory research with animals to clinical studies with human volunteers. The program employs the latest technology, including positron emission tomography to study the action of drugs in the human brain and transgenic species to better understand the role genes in drug abuse. The intramural program also serves as a national and international training center for young investigators in the drug abuse field.


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