Who pays for substance-abuse research has always been an important issue. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, most of the drug- and alcohol-abuse research in the world was supported by the U.S. government. One of the federally funded National Institutes of Health—the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON Drug Abuse (NIDA)—funds over 88 percent of drug-abuse research conducted in the United States and abroad. In 1992, this amounted to over 362 million dollars, which supported NIDA's own intramural research at the Addiction Research Center and the research done in universities under grants awarded by the institute. NIDA's sister institute, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and ALCOHOLISM (NIAAA), plays a parallel role in funding alcohol-abuse research. In 1992, it funded 175 million dollars in alcohol-research grants. Many other U.S. government agencies also have important roles in sponsoring and conducting substance-abuse research. For the most part, state and local governments do not sponsor substance-abuse research, although they do much of the distribution of funds for treatment and prevention programs.

Other countries, most notably Canada, sponsor basic clinical and epidemiological substance-abuse research within their own universities and laboratories, but none does so on a scale that is comparable to that of the United States. Private foundations and research institutions like the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Rockefeller University, and the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation use their own funds, as well as federal grant support, to pay for their research endeavors. Pharmaceutical companies also support some substance-abuse research—mostly clinical work related to medications that might be used as part of treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse. Again, much of this work is sponsored, in part, by the U.S. government.

(SEE ALSO: National Household Survey; Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS; Research, Animal Model; U.S. Government/U.S. Government Agencies)


Alcohol and Health. (1990). Seventh Special Report to the U.S. Congress. DHHS Publication no. (ADM) 90-1656. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Barinaga, M. (1992). Pot, heroin unlock new areas for neuroscience. Science, 258, 1882-1884. Cooper, J. R., Bloom, F. E., & Roth, R. H. (1986). The biochemical basis of pharmacology. New York: Oxford University Press. Drug Abuse and Drug Abuse Research III. (1991). Third Triennial Report to Congress. DHHS Publication no. (ADM) 91-1704. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Gershon, E. S., & Rieder, R. D. (1992). Major disorders of mind andbrain. Scientific American, 267(3), 126133.

Jaffe, J. H. Drug addiction and drug abuse. (1990). In A. G. Gilman et al. (Eds.), Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 8th ed. New York: Pergamon.

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