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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

Dispelling the Myths about Addiction

Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research

Committee to Identify Strategies to Raise the Profile of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Research

Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health

Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The Institute of Medicine was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to enlist distinguished members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy's 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

This study was supported under a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles. The views presented are those of the Institute of Medicine Committee to Identify Strategies to Raise the Profile of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Research and are not necessarily those of the funding organization.

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 97-69691

International Standard Book Number 0-309-06401-5

Additional copies of this report are available from:
National Academy Press
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Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The image adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is based on a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatlichemuseen in Berlin.

Cover: The cover of this report includes a circular motif, called a mandala, that was designed by Leigh Coriale of the National Academy Press. The term mandala comes from Sanskrit, and such motifs are prominent among many of the world's religions. In psychology, mandalas were studied and used most extensively by the psychiatrist Carl Jung, who viewed mandalas as abstract representations of the totality of the conscious and unconscious. Universal elements of the unconscious, or archetypes, were important in Jung's theory of individual psychological development and manifestations, but also were evident in symbols, myths, legends, and rituals. Color reprints of some of Jung's patient's mandalas are contained in R.F.C. Hull's English translation of Jung's book, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Second Edition, Tenth Printing; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990).

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

COMMITTEE TO IDENTIFY STRATEGIES TO RAISE THE PROFILE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM RESEARCH

NANCY C. ANDREASEN, (Chair),* Andrew H. Woods Professor of Psychiatry and Director,

Mental Health Clinical Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

STANLEY J. WATSON, Jr. (Vice-Chair),* Codirector and Research Scientist,

Mental Health Research Institute, and

Professor and Associate Chair for Research,

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

MICHAEL BYAS-SMITH, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology,

Emory Anesthesiology Administration, Atlanta, Georgia

MARC G. CARON, Investigator,

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and

Professor,

Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

BRIAN M. COX, Professor and Chairman,

Department of Pharmacology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland

JOHN GRABOWSKI, Professor,

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

SHARON M. HALL, Professor and Vice-Chairperson,

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California

STEVEN E. HYMAN, Director,

National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Maryland

TING-KAI LI, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry,

School of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana

HERBERT W. NICKENS, Vice President for Community and Minority Programs,

Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C.

DOROTHY P. RICE,* Professor Emeritus,

Institute for Health and Aging, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California

SALLY SATEL, Research Psychiatrist,

School of Medicine, Yale University, Washington, D.C.

WILLIAM K. SCHMIDT, President and CEO,

NorthStar Research and Development, Ltd., Newark, Delaware

RICHARD W. TSIEN,* George D. Smith Professor and Chairman,

Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California

JUDITH R. WALTERS, Chief,

Neurophysiological Pharmacology Section, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland

*  

Institute of Medicine member.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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STEPHEN M. WEISS, Professor and Codirector,

Division of Behavioral Medicine and Consultation Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

Institute of Medicine Staff

LAUREN B. LEVETON, Study Director until September 1996

CARRIE E. INGALLS, Research Associate

THOMAS J. WETTERHAN, Project Assistant/Research Assistant

AMELIA B. MATHIS, Project Assistant

TERRI SCANLAN, Administrative Assistant

DIANA ZUCKERMAN, Consultant

MICHAEL A. STOTO, Director,

Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

CONSTANCE M. PECHURA, Director,

Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

Preface

Research on addiction reveals fascinating paradoxes and contradictions. On one hand, there are enormous opportunities, such as those for furthering knowledge about the complex and sophisticated science of neurobiology. Scientists have identified many of the brain mechanisms that lead human beings to develop the cravings and physical dependencies that characterize addiction. These mechanisms appear to be at work with many different types of drugs, ranging from commonly used legal drugs, such as nicotine, to illicit drugs, such as heroin, which are abused and, in some individuals, lead to addiction.

There are enormous barriers, however, based on stigma and misunderstanding, which have undermined the benefits of increased scientific knowledge. To address this problem effectively, the public, health educators, policymakers, and clinicians who treat addiction must be educated about research accomplishments and critical questions, and additional researchers must be recruited into the field. This report attempts to identify key barriers that need to be overcome before a rational, science-based approach to drug addiction, one of our most pressing public health problems, can be achieved.

Many Institute of Medicine (IOM) studies are intended to serve as instruments of change that will shape future policies. The charge to the Committee on Raising the Profile of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Research was to conduct a study and to develop a report to identify and address barriers to public understanding of the field and those that present obstacles for attracting and sustaining talented investigators and other health professionals who wish to pursue careers in addiction research. The committee was also charged with developing strategies to overcome the barriers.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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As work on this study progressed, a novel situation unfolded: the process itself became a catalyst for change. Committee members learned from one another—basic researchers from clinical and behavioral researchers, senior from younger, and those outside the field from those within. In particular, a workshop held in March of 1996 brought committee members, young* and senior investigators, and other health professionals and policymakers together in a meeting that helped to begin changes in attitudes and increases in knowledge (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda and Appendix B for a list of participants). The workshop provided new insights, encouraged constructive debate, and ultimately achieved consensus about the various barriers; it also stimulated innovative thinking about critical strategies. The results of the workshop and committee deliberations are presented in this report, which we hope will also be an instrument of change. It is addressed to several audiences, but particularly to the lay public, college and graduate students, university administrators, policymakers, and others who may be interested in understanding drug abuse and addiction.

This report sets forth a strategy to dispel the myths about addiction and to facilitate a better understanding of the accomplishments in addiction research and the critical questions that remain to be answered (Chapters 3, 4 and 5). Addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and illegal drugs is a preventable and treatable brain disease influenced by complex sets of behaviors that may be the results of genetic, biological, psychosocial, and environmental interactions, as this report emphasizes. The costs of these problems are high and underscore the need to approach the problems from a perspective that is more rational and evidence based.

The committee of 16 members was carefully selected to represent basic, clinical, and behavioral researchers both inside and outside the field of drug addiction with expertise spanning different disciplines (e.g., neuroscience, psychopharmacology, anesthesiology, behavioral medicine, economics) and different substances (e.g., nicotine, alcohol, opioids, stimulants). They were also selected for their experience in careers associated with academia, government, and industry. In addition, to improve understanding as to how various barriers may pose problems at different stages of a research career, the committee was selected to be representative of those different stages, ranging from junior to more senior researchers and clinicians.

The committee collected quantitative and qualitative data during the study, including data on prevalence and costs of addiction (Chapter 2), efforts made in educational settings from early grades through medical schools (Chapter 6), investments in research and training (Chapter 7), and initiatives to educate the

*  

Young investigators were defined for the purpose of this study not by chronological age, but rather as individuals who were at early stages of their careers.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

public and the role of public perception in supporting or inhibiting increased understanding and implementation of effective public policies regarding research (Chapter 8).

The day-and-a-half workshop was a major data gathering activity that helped to shape the search for information and enriched the committee discussions. The workshop highlighted young investigators' perceptions of their experiences of the barriers and opportunities in pursuing careers in addiction research and treatment. The young investigators represented the entire spectrum of career pathways, from predoctoral and premedical students to recent postdoctoral and junior faculty individuals. In addition, they represented career paths spanning neurobiological, clinical, and behavioral areas both inside and outside addiction research and treatment. The workshop also included a broad representation of other individuals—senior investigators inside and outside addiction research, and medical and health professionals and policymakers representing universities, foundations, industry, government, and professional associations interested in addiction research.

Seventy people participated in the workshop and an additional 29 young investigators and 25 senior investigators and other professionals provided written contributions about their perceptions and experiences of barriers and strategies for attracting individuals into the field (Appendix B contains the list of workshop participants and contributors). The committee also heard about advances in addiction research from two keynote speakers, Drs. Avram Goldstein and Ivan Diamond, who shared valuable perspectives based on their extensive experience in this field (Appendixes C and D). Finally, to obtain a perspective on lessons learned, three speakers described how their fields had advanced and overcome the barriers posed by stigma. The fields (depression, epilepsy, and breast cancer) were selected by the committee to illustrate success stories that could serve as role models for advancing the field of addiction research.

Many individuals helped the committee do its work, but first we would like to thank the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles for their financial support, without which this study would not have taken place. We would like to thank the committee members for their dedication and diligence, but most of all for their open-mindedness and flexibility. Each made a unique contribution and broadened our perspective. We also appreciate the efforts of a number of people who obtained and provided information on the various federal agencies and their funding, and shared their knowledge and perspectives through interviews and questionnaires. Several people provided valuable assistance in preparing chapter drafts, workshop summaries, and in copy editing the manuscript (Diana Zuckerman, Sara Brookhart, Peter Slavin, and Beth Gyorgy). Most particularly, we are grateful to the IOM staff: Lauren Leveton for assuming in-house leadership for the study and the organization of the workshop until September 1996; Constance Pechura for providing wise oversight; Carrie Ingalls for exceptional

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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research and writing assistance; Thomas Wetterhan for additional skilled research support, manuscript preparation, and logistical support; Terri Scanlan for consistently helpful administrative assistance; and Amelia Mathis for making our travel, meeting arrangements and meals comfortable and enjoyable. Also, we appreciate the efforts of Michael Edington, managing editor, Claudia Carl, administrative associate for report review, and Carlos Gabriel, financial associate. Finally, we would like to thank all the young investigators who have much to look forward to as they pursue the exciting challenges in addiction research.

NANCY C. ANDREASEN M.D., PH.D., Chair

STANLEY WATSON, M.D., PH.D., Vice-Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

TABLES, FIGURES, AND BOXES

Tables

1.1

 

Classification of Abusive and Addictive Drugs

 

17

2.1

 

Trends in Past Month Use of Marijuana, Alcohol, and Cigarettes by 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and High School Seniors, 1992–1996

 

24

2.2

 

Estimated Economic Costs of Illicit Drug, Alcohol, and Nicotine Abuse, 1990 (Millions of Dollars)

 

26

2.3

 

Costs of Illness for Selected Diseases and Conditions (Billions of Dollars)

 

29

2.4

 

NIDA Funding History (1988–1997): Research Training Grants, Research Grants, and Total Budget (Thousands of Dollars)

 

31

2.5

 

NIAAA Funding History (1988–1997): Research Training Grants, Research Grants, and Total Budget (Thousands of Dollars)

 

31

3.1

 

Some Future Challenges in Basic Research

 

50

4.1

 

Some Future Challenges in Psychosocial and Prevention Research

 

67

5.1

 

Duration of Addiction Treatment

 

76

5.2

 

Some Future Challenges in Pharmacotherapy and Treatment Research

 

88

7.1

 

Total Costs to Society and Training and Research Support for Specific Diseases (Millions of Dollars)

 

119

7.2

 

R01 Success Rates

 

129

7.3

 

NIDA Research Training Funding as a Percentage of Total Extramural Research Funding (Millions of Dollars)

 

130

7.4

 

NIAAA Research Training Funding as a Percentage of Total Extramural Research Funding (Millions of Dollars)

 

130

Figures

2.1

 

Past Month Illicit Drug Use by Age: 1979–1995

 

20

2.2

 

Past Month Illicit Drug Use, by Past Month Alcohol Use, Age 12 and Older, 1995

 

22

2.3

 

Economic Costs of Addiction by Type of Cost and Drug, 1990

 

27

3.1

 

Schematic Diagram of the Brain Reward Circuitry

 

40

3.2

 

The Effect of Cocaine and Amphetamine

 

42

7.1

 

Total Institute Budgets, 1986–1995 (Constant Dollars)

 

122

7.2

 

Total Institute Research Grant Budgets, 1986–1995 (Constant Dollars)

 

123

7.3

 

Total Research Training Grant Budgets, 1986–1995 (Constant Dollars)

 

124

7.4

 

Total Number of T32, F31, and F32 Applicants, 1986–1995

 

125

7.5

 

Total Number of T32, F31, and F32 Awards Granted, 1986–1995

 

126

7.6

 

Total Number of R01 and R29 Applicants, 1986–1995

 

127

7.7

 

Total Number of R01 and R29 Awards Granted, 1986–1995

 

128

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

8.1

 

Critical Links in the Strategies for Raising the Profile of Addiction Research

 

143

Boxes

2.1

 

Estimating the Cost of Drug Abuse in New York City

 

28

3.1

 

Animal Models: Examples from Alcohol Research

 

38

3.2

 

Effects of Alcohol on Neurotransmission

 

43

6.1

 

American Association for the Advancement of Science

 

98

6.2

 

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience

 

99

6.3

 

Case Study: Harvard Medical School, Division on Addictions

 

102

6.4

 

Case Study: University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

 

103

6.5

 

North Carolina Governor's Institute on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Inc.

 

105

7.1

 

Description of Awards

 

116

7.2

 

Foundation-Funded Research: A Model Program

 

132

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Acronyms


AA

Alcoholics Anonymous

AAAS

American Association for the Advancement of Science

AAMC

Association of American Medical Colleges

ABPN

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

ACS

American Cancer Society

ADA

American Diabetes Association

ADD

attention-deficit disorder

ADH

alcohol dehydrogenase

ADHD

attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

AHA

American Heart Association

AHCPR

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, United States Department of Health and Human Services

AHEC

Area Health Education Centers

AIDS

acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

ALDH2

aldehyde dehydrogenase

AMA

American Medical Association

AMERSA

Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse

APA

American Psychological Association

ASA

American Sociological Association

ASAM

American Society of Addiction Medicine

ATP

adenosine triphosphate

AVP

arginine vasopressin


B/START

Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

BAC

blood alcohol concentrations

BLS

Bureau of Labor Statistics


cAMP

cyclic adenosine monophosphate

CASA

Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

CCK-8

cholecystokinin-8

cDNA

deoxyribonucleic acid, complementary sequence

cm

centimeters

CME

continuing medical education

CNS

central nervous system

CRA

community reinforcement approach

CRF

corticotropin releasing factor

CSAP

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

CSAT

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment


DARP

Drug Abuse Reporting Project

DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration

delta-9-THC

delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

DHHS

Department of Health and Human Services

DMT

dimethyltryptamine

DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid

DoD

Department of Defense

DOM

dimethoxymethylamphetamine

DOT

Department of Transportation

DSM-III-R

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Third Edition Revised

DSM-IV

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Fourth Edition

DWI

driving while intoxicated


F30

Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships

F31

Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award for Fellows

F32

Individual Postdoctoral National Research Service Award for Fellows

FAS

fetal alcohol syndrome

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

FHN

familial high-alcohol nonpreferring

FHP

familial high-alcohol preferring

FUN

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience


GABA

gamma-aminobutyric acid

GAO

General Accounting Office


HCFA

Health Care Financing Administration

HCl

hydrochloride

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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HDL

high-density lipoprotein

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

HRSA

Health Research and Services Administration


ICD

International Classification of Disease

IOM

Institute of Medicine

IRB

institutional review board

IRG

initial review group


K01

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

K02

Independent Scientist Award

K05

Senior Scientist Award

K07

Academic Career Award

K08

Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award

kcal

kilocalories


LAAM

levo-alpha-acetylmethadol or levomethadyl acetate, trade name: Orlaam®

LCME

Liaison Committee on Medical Education

LRP

Loan Repayment Program

LSD

lysergic acid diethylamide

LTA

latent transition analysis


MATCH

Matching Alcohol Treatment to Client Heterogeneity

MDA

methylenedioxyamphetamine

MDD

Medications Development Division

MDMA

methylenedioxymethamphetamine

mg

milligram

mm

millimeter

MMWR

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

MOU

memorandum of understanding

MSTP

Medical Sciences Training Program


NAc

nucleus accumbens

NAMA

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates

NAMI

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

NARSAD

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

NAS

National Academy of Sciences

NBCC

National Breast Cancer Coalition

NCHGR

National Center for Human Genome Research

NCHS

National Center for Health Statistics

NCI

National Cancer Institute

NCRR

National Center for Research Resources

NEI

National Eye Institute

NHLBI

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

NIA

National Institute on Aging

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
×

NIAAA

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

NIAID

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAMS

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

NICHD

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

NIDA

National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIDCD

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

NIDDK

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

NIDR

National Institute of Dental Research

NIEHS

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

NIGMS

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

NIH

National Institutes of Health

NIMH

National Institute of Mental Health

NINDS

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

NINR

National Institute of Nursing Research

NMDA

N-methyl-D-aspartate

NRC

National Research Council

NRSA

National Research Service Awards


OER

Office of Extramural Research

ONDCP

Office of National Drug Control Policy

OTA

Office of Technology Assessment

OTC

over-the-counter


PCP

phencyclidine

PET

positron-emission tomography

PTSD

posttraumatic stress disorder


QTL

quantitative trait loci


R01

Investigator Initiated Research Project

R03

Small Grant

R21

Exploratory/Developmental Grant

R29

FIRST Award—First Independent Research Support and Transition Award

R37

MERIT Award—Method to Extend Research in Time Award

RFA

request for applications

RFP

request for proposals

RI

recombinant inbred

RWJF

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


SAMHSA

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SOAR

The Society of American Recovery

SPECT

single photon emission computed tomography

Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Institute of Medicine. 1997. Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5802.
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T32

National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant

T35

National Research Service Award Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grant

THC

tetrahydrocannabinol

TOPS

Treatment Outcomes Prospective Study

VTA

ventral tegmental area


WHO

World Health Organization

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Dispelling the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding and Strengthen Research Get This Book
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Every year about half a million men, women, and children in the United States die from the effects of using nicotine, alcohol, and illegal drugs: one of every four American deaths. Yet research to solve this terrible problem is often perceived as less important than other types of biomedical investigation.

Focusing on four major classes of drugs with the greatest social and economic impact--nicotine, alcohol, opioids, and stimulants--Dispelling the Myths About Addiction examines what is known about addiction and what is needed to develop a talented cadre of investigators and to educate the public about addiction research. The committee explores these areas:

  • Economic costs of addiction.
  • What has been learned about addiction from research into basic neurobiology and the brain, psychosocial and behavioral factors, and epidemiology.
  • Education and training of researchers and the research infrastructure.
  • Public perceptions and their impact on public policy in this field.

This volume outlines the challenges and opportunities in addiction research today and makes recommendations to educators, treatment professionals, public and private institutions, and others for how to build support for addiction research and treatment.

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