Joint council meeting addresses future of NIH substance abuse research

The Advisory Councils for NIAAA, NIDA and NCI met in December to discuss the new functional integration plan

On Dec. 14, NIH held a joint meeting of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Advisory Board to discuss the Trans-NIH Substance Use, Abuse, and Addiction Functional Integration Plan (PDF, 72KB). Dr. Larry Tabak, chair of the Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction Task Force gave a slide presentation (PDF, 247KB) detailing the history of what until recently was expected to be the structural integration of the NIH substance use, abuse and addiction portfolio. He then described recent functional integration activities within both NIDA’s and NIAAA’s Intramural Research Programs as well as examples in the extramural research programs including: a joint funding opportunity announcement for research with veterans; expansion of NIDA’s Seek, Test, Treat and Retain (STTR) HIV initiative to include individuals with primary alcohol dependence; NIDA support of NIAAA’s Longitudinal Adolescent Initiative; and NIDA support for NIAAA’s epidemiologic comorbidity survey research. Citing these existing collaborations as well as budgetary challenges ahead, Tabak stated that NIH now needs to focus its energies on the entire biomedical research enterprise. He then described plans for moving forward, including the development of further initiatives and determination of joint funding targets for fiscal year 2014 and beyond, noting that progress reports will be provided at the next round of individual advisory council meetings in February.

For more information on this issue contact Geoff Mumford.