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, according to the Nature News Blog.
NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement that instead of dissolving the two institutes, he will seek their “functional integration,” along with related research in the NIH’s other institutes. NIDA has an annual budget of $1 billion, while NIAAA’s budget is $459 million, the article notes.
Citing budget uncertainties, Collins noted, “The time, energy, and resources required for a major structural reorganization are not warranted, especially given that functional integration promises to achieve equivalent scientific and public health objectives.”
In June, Collins told his committee of external advisers that leaders in the alcoholic beverage industry were concerned about the new single institute. According to the article, the industry’s opposition suggested it was not comfortable with a single body that would more closely align the public’s perception of alcohol consumption and abuse with drug addiction.