National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2003 | Go to article overview

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


Behavioral and social sciences research plays an important role in the NIDA's search for solutions to the complex social and public health problems posed by drug abuse and addiction. These scientific disciplines provide the NIDA with the knowledge necessary to better predict, prevent, and treat drug abuse and addiction problems. The NIDA is interested in supporting research that investigates the role of cognitive and/or emotional variables mediating or moderating the development of drug abuse and addiction from the initiation of drug abuse ("chipping" or occasional drug use), the maintenance or continuation of drug-raking behaviors (chronic abuse, including escalation to compulsive abuse and its associated negative consequences), relapse, and characteristics of sustained abstinence. The study of cognitive and/or emotional factors (e.g., self-regulation, beliefs, self-attributes, perceived risks or benefits) that influence vulnerability or resistance to drug abuse is also of interest. Investigators may study responsivity to acute drug challenge, including the examination of how physiological, motivational, or subjective responses to drugs of abuse are influenced by cognitive and emotional variables (e.g., expectancy, affective state, emotional context). Also appropriate would be studies examining cognitive and emotional variables (e.g., coping, emotional regulation, self-efficacy) in the context of treatment or preventive interventions (e.g., role in adherence or compliance). The study of decisions and other cognitive processes and their associated neural substrates, which give rise to sexual risk behavior, is also an area of research interest. Studies on the influence of physiological indicators of stress, stress perception, or stress reactivity on drug abuse vulnerability or clinical outcome may be included in proposed investigations. The NIDA has an interest in supporting research that investigates the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of medical, behavioral, health, and other consequences of drug abuse, including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and sexually transmitted: diseases. Research of interest includes, for example, identifying how drug use affects the sensory perceptual system and cognitive abilities such as planning and organizing in terms of risk behaviors. Given that drug users and their sex partners account for a substantial proportion of new HIV infections in the United States each year, studies to improve understanding of the behavioral, social, and environmental mechanisms that facilitate HIV transmission and other infectious diseases among drug users are welcome. The NIDA's focus on health promotion and disease prevention encourages researchers to investigate strategies for tailoring interventions to optimize their beneficial effects to determine which interventions work, for whom, and under what conditions.

Applicant institutions may request funds to conduct regular research projects (R01). This RFA is restricted to the NIH R01 award mechanism. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. The participating institutes and centers intend to commit at least $3.5 million in fiscal years 2004 or 2005 to fund approximately 11 new grants in response to this RFA. …

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