NIDA issues strategic plan to address current and future public health needs through transformative addiction research


NIDA Strategic Plan 2016-2020

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has released its Strategic Plan for 2016-2020: Advancing Addiction Science, focusing on its mission to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.

Drug use and substance use disorders (SUDs) affect millions of Americans and impose enormous costs on society. In 2014, nearly 27 million people in the U.S. were current users of illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs, and almost 67 million people smoked or used other harmful tobacco products.

As the lead federal agency devoted to research on the health effects of drug use, NIDA has developed a plan with four priority areas that present unique opportunities to be leveraged over the next five years. The plan is designed to increase the understanding of the basic science of the brain as it relates to behavior and translate what is learned into more effective prevention and treatment interventions that can ultimately reduce the negative impacts of drug use and SUDs on society. To achieve its mission, NIDA will focus on the following high-level strategic goals centered on basic science, prevention, treatment, and public health, respectively:

  • GOAL 1: Identify the biological, environmental, behavioral and social causes and consequences of drug use and addiction across the lifespan
  • GOAL 2: Develop improved strategies to prevent drug use and its consequences
  • GOAL 3: Develop new and improved treatments to help people with substance use disorders achieve and maintain a meaningful and sustained recovery
  • GOAL 4: Increase the public health impact of NIDA research and programs

To view NIDA’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan in its entirety, including a statement from NIDA Director Nora Volkow, go to:

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at or 301-443-6245

NIDA Press Office

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. For more information about NIDA and its programs, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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