Published: October 2008
Author: National Institute on Drug Abuse
In an effort to determine how to improve our strategic plan and make it more responsive to the needs of our various constituent groups (e.g., academic institutions, professional associations), we reviewed public comments from the 2004-2009 plan. A number of concerns expressed in the comments have already been addressed in our original plan. For example, we address: the need to focus on diversity within racial/ethnic minority populations (e.g., ethnic/regional subgroups within the population and gender), attend to language and cultural differences, provide research capacity development support to researchers from diverse backgrounds and a variety of institutions, and communicate with representatives from health disparity populations to ensure their perspectives are heard.
A number of comments referred to the need for NIH to provide more guidance in conducting valid and appropriate health disparity research (e.g., NIH must define standards for cultural competence, more must be done to adjust research methodologies to the needs of racial/ethnic minority communities). In our current and previously revised plans, we emphasize our need to continue to provide this type of leadership in research capacity development.
NIDA maintains its priority rankings of endeavors to be pursued through the 2009-2013 plan. Research, capacity and infrastructure development, public information and outreach, and research integration are the four priority areas.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.