Late Breaking News
Significant Funding for Substance Abuse Approved
WASHINGTON, DC—To better support research into substance abuse problems among US military personnel, veterans and their families, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs are creating a first-time collaborative funding project. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Cancer Institute, are partnering with the VA to provide $7 million in funding for research opportunities in this area.
While there has been a lot of focus on the mental health problems afflicting returning military personnel—PTSD, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and depression—there has been little in the way of research into the accompanying substance abuse problems, though it is commonly recognized that all of these issues are interrelated. The funding opportunity announcement will focus on the causes, screening and identification, prevention, and treatment of substance use and abuse—including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs—and associated problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. This announcement was prompted by a meeting held in January, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of the substance abuse intervention needs of military personnel, veterans, and their families, and to develop recommendations for prevention and treatment research priorities in this area. This is the first post-meeting announcement, and is specific to those serving, or who have served, in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Working in collaboration with key federal agencies, we hope to learn more about how to address the array of social and emotional problems caused by the trauma of war that bring so much pain to soldiers and their families,” explained NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow in a statement. “Even though they are no longer in combat, many of these brave men and women are now fighting substance addiction—another dangerous enemy.”
The grant applications submitted will be reviewed by an NIH review panel that includes scientific expertise regarding substance abuse and associated conditions. Each agency will fund grants relevant to its mission. NIDA will fund $2 million, NIAAA $2 million, NCI $1 million, and the VA $2 million.