NIDA is an acronym for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The institute was formed as an effort to leverage technological advancements in science to curb rising drug abuse rates in the country.
The mission of NIDA
NIDA was formed with the sole aim of using the power of science and technology to help combat drug abuse and addiction issues. The institute uses a two-pronged approach to tackle these issues using science. The first approach is by actively supporting and sustaining scientific research across diverse subjects and disciplines. The second approach is by using those research findings to prevent, treat and formulate new policies pertaining to drug abuse and addiction problems.
Goals of NIDA
NIDA has been actively involved the last five years in successfully altering people’s perception towards drugs. The results of an MTF survey (Monitoring the Future) show that most students from the 8th, 10th as well as 12th grades have reduced taking drugs by a sharp 24%. These results are based on statistics taken from 2001 to 2007. This means that since 2001 there are 860000 lesser young people taking drugs. Nicotine usage
has also declined sharply since 1975. NIDA recognizes that drug abuse and addiction amongst adolescents can adversely affect their mental makeup and development, which is why it is committed to reducing drug abuse across the youth. NIDA continues to lay emphasis on research pertaining to brain development, epigenetics, HIV/AIDS
as it believes these are the most pressing issues today. It plans to continue these research efforts in a full-fledged manner in spite of the current inflation and reduction of purchasing power.
The primary goals of NIDA are to:
• Create more awareness among legislators, constituents, and stakeholders to overcome stigma associated with drug abuse
• Ensuring parity for individuals who are mentally ill because of drug abuse and addiction issues
• Engage more pharmaceutical companies in being more involved in combating drug abuse
• A seamless integration between treatment for drug abuse and judiciary system
• Preventing the network and spread of drugs in schools
Important aspects of NIDA
There are many departments and teams within NIDA, each of which focuses on a core area pertaining to drug abuse. For example, there are the community epidemiology work groups, research programs conducted for studies pertaining to gender differences and women, research about neuroscience and brain development
as well as behavioral patterns related to drug abuse, pharmacotherapies as well as medical consequences as a result of drug abuse, research pertaining to AIDS and HIV related diseases.
The NIDA is a holistic effort from health professionals, people from the medical industry, students and teenagers, teachers and parents as well as qualified researchers to make a true difference to the spread of drug abuse in the country. NIDA has also been actively involved in various publications such as ‘Principles of HIV prevention in drug-using populations’, ‘Drugs, brains and behavior – the science of addiction’ and many others.