NIH Announces It Will Not Merge NIAAA and NIDA to Create a Unified Institute Devoted to Addiction

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced it will not pursue the proposed creation of a single institute devoted to substance use, abuse and addictions. The proposal would have dissolved the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and replaced it with a single body.

NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the decision November 16, 2012, in a brief written statement that said:  “After rigorous review and extensive consultation with stakeholders, I have concluded that it is more appropriate for NIH to pursue functional integration, rather than major structural reorganization, to advance substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research.

To that end, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will retain their institutional identities, while strengthening their ongoing efforts to work more closely with each other and with related research programs at other institutes and centers.”

NIDA has an annual budget of $1 billion, while NIAAA’s budget is $459 million.