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September 28, 2022 (Cleveland, OH)

NIDA Releases 2022-2026 Strategic Plan

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) this month released its strategic plan for FY 2022-2026. This strategic planning process occurs every five years for all National Institutes of Health (NIH) agencies and is an opportunity to review research and put in place a plan that can advance the Institute’s mission.

According to NIDA, over the past 40 years, drug overdoses in the United States have increased exponentially with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a record high of nearly 109,000 overdose deaths in 2021. As drug addiction and overdose deaths continue to be a public health crisis, NIDA has developed a plan that demonstrates dedication to enhancing public health by supporting all facets of addiction science.

“It corrals the breadth of research we support—from basic neuroscience and pharmacology to epidemiology and prevention to therapeutics development and implementation, to research on the delivery of addiction treatment and other services — while remaining flexible and responsive to scientific innovations as well as to the rapidly shifting drug use and addiction landscape,” explained Dr. Nora D, Volkow, MD, director of NIDA.

NIDA’s plan was created with several audiences in mind, including academic researchers, small businesses and other industry partners, federal and state policymakers, providers, and individuals affected by substance use disorders (SUDs). Focusing on research that is gained from people with actual addiction experience, in themselves or their families, the five year plan is structured to address the needs of those most directly impacted by NIDA’s science.

NIDA’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan has five priority scientific areas:
1. Understand Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior
2. Develop and Test Novel Prevention, Treatment, Harm Reduction, and Recovery Support Strategies
3. Accelerate Research on the Intersection of Substance Use, HIV, and Related Comorbidities
4. Improve the Implementation of Evidence-Based Strategies in Real-World Settings
5. Translate Research into Innovative Health Applications

Educating the public and providing scientific data to aid the drug overdose epidemic, NIDA has adapted to many changes seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. An example of this shift, the CDC has reported a 34% increase in overdose deaths between 2019 and 2020 — the largest increase on record.
“The strategic plan reflects our commitment to advancing all aspects of addiction science in the service of improving people’s lives. Today’s landscape of substance use poses both unique challenges and unprecedented opportunities to leverage the amazing potential of science toward that goal. While we have made impressive progress, there is more to be done,” said Volkow.

NIDA continues to lead the development of effective prevention and treatment interventions, providing hope for the more than 40 million people in the United States with substance use disorders and their loved ones.