85 percent of the world's research on drug abuse and addiction. Other sponsoring agencies include the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), all in the Department of Health and Human Services; as well as the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) in the Department of Justice. Throughout the federal government, the FY 1995 investment in drug abuse research and development was $542.2 million, which represents 4 percent of the $13.3 billion spent by the federal government on drug abuse (ONDCP, 1996). By comparison, $8.5 billion (64 percent of the FY 1995 budget) was spent on criminal justice programs,1 $2.7 billion (20 percent) on treatment of drug abuse, and $1.6 billion (12 percent) on prevention efforts.

In 1992, the General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report Drug Abuse Research: Federal Funding and Future Needs, which recommended that Congress review the place of research in drug control policy and its modest 4 percent share of the drug control budget. The report questioned whether the federal commitment to research was adequate, given the enormity of research needs (GAO, 1992), and whether adequate evaluation research was being conducted to determine the efficacy of various drug control programs. In FY 1995, drug abuse research was still little more than 4 percent of the entire drug control budget.

In January 1995, NIDA requested the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine accomplishments in drug abuse research and provide guidance for future research opportunities. This report by the IOM Committee on Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research focuses broadly on opportunities and priorities for future scientific research in drug abuse. After a brief review of major accomplishments in drug abuse research, the remainder of this chapter discusses the vocabulary and basic concepts used in the report, highlights the importance of the nation's investment in drug abuse research, and explores some of the factors that could improve the yield from that investment.


There have been remarkable achievements in drug abuse research over the past quarter of a century as researchers have learned more about the biological and psychosocial aspects of drug use, abuse, and dependence. Behavioral researchers have developed animal and human mod-


Criminal justice programs include interdiction, investigation, international efforts, prosecution, correction efforts, and intelligence programs.

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