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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2002



Congressional Affairs

(Prepared September 6, 2002)

FY 2003 Appropriations

FY 2003 Senate Labor, HHS, Education Appropriation Bill (S. 2766) - and accompanying Senate Report 107-216

On July 18, 2002, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education reported out S. 2776, appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003. The bill includes a total of $27,192,926,000 for NIH. This represents an increase of $3,737,083,000 over the Fiscal Year 2002 level and $25,000,000 over the President's budget request. The Committee states that this appropriation will complete the historic 5-year effort to double the funding for the NIH.

Senate Report Language for NIDA:

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $968,013,000 for the National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA]. This is $3,400,000 more than the budget request and $80,280,000 more than the fiscal year 2002 appropriation. The comparable numbers for the budget estimate include funds to be transferred from the Office of AIDS Research.

Mission. -- Created in 1974, NIDA supports about 85 percent of the world's biomedical research in the area of drug abuse and addiction. The Committee commends NIDA for demonstrating through research that drug use is a preventable behavior and that addiction is a treatable disease.

NIDA's basic research plays a fundamental role in furthering knowledge about the ways in which drugs act on the brain to produce dependence, and contributes to understanding how the brain works. In addition, NIDA research identifies the most effective pharmacological and behavioral drug abuse treatments. NIDA conducts research on the nature and extent of drug abuse in the United States and monitors drug abuse trends nationwide to provide information for planning both prevention and treatment services. An important component of NIDA's mission is also to study the outcomes, effectiveness, and cost benefits of drug abuse services delivered in a variety of settings and to assure dissemination of information with respect to prevention of drug abuse and treatment of drug abusers.

Collaboration with SAMHSA and other agencies. -- The Committee encourages NIDA to continue to collaborate with SAMHSA and other agencies to bridge the existing gap between research and practice. The Committee is pleased that NIDA plans to support CSAT's Addiction Technology Transfer Centers. The Committee believes that this collaborative effort will have a significant impact on how communities receive and develop the skills, systems, and necessary support to implement new research findings.

Community-friendly behavioral therapies. -- Research-based behavioral treatments are often criticized as too lengthy, costly, complex, or difficult for treatment providers to integrate with more traditional methods of care. The Committee applauds NIDA's efforts to remedy this situation by developing and bringing behavioral therapies to community treatment centers. NIDA is urged to encourage researchers to make behavioral treatments more "community friendly," while still maintaining their effectiveness. The Committee is pleased that NIDA has expanded the scope of its research beyond testing new treatments to include studies on financing and organizational adaptation and change. The Committee encourages NIDA to continue testing new treatments in clinical trials and supporting research on how to move effective treatments into health care systems.

Hepatitis C treatment. -- The Committee notes the high incidence of hepatitis C among the U.S. population that uses drugs. Research into the efficacy of treating such individuals for hepatitis C concurrently with drug dependency protocols such as methadone is highly recommended.

Information dissemination. -- The Committee urges NIDA to use both the existing National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network infrastructure and the new prevention infrastructures that are currently being established as part of NIDA's new Prevention Research Initiative to ensure that findings are put into practice in communities across the country.

Methamphetamine. -- The Committee continues to be concerned about methamphetamine abuse across the Nation, especially in the Midwest. The Committee again urges NIDA to expand its research on improved methods of prevention and treatment of methamphetamine abuse.

Nicotine. -- The Committee applauds NIDA's efforts to support a comprehensive research portfolio that has indisputably demonstrated the addictive nature of nicotine. The Committee encourages NIDA to work independently and, where possible, collaborate with other Institutes and organizations to identify and develop targets for new treatments. The Committee recognizes that treating addiction to nicotine remains among the most cost-effective approaches to reducing cancer risk.

Prevention research. -- The Committee is pleased that NIDA has launched a multi-component National Prevention Research Initiative that will involve partners at the State and local levels. The Committee urges NIDA to expand this initiative to test the effectiveness of new and existing science-based prevention approaches in different communities, while also studying how best to adapt the programs for local needs.

Stress and substance abuse. -- Stress plays a major role in the initiation and continuation of drug use, and in relapse to addiction. The Committee encourages the NIDA to increase its research portfolio on this topic as well as on post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.

Translating basic research. -- NIDA's strong basic research foundation has provided great insight into the addiction process and has helped identify molecular targets for the development of medications as well as new behavioral treatment strategies. The Committee urges NIDA to use translational research to continue to rapidly bring knowledge from the lab into clinical practice.

FY 2003 House Labor, HHS, Education Appropriation Bill (HR 5320)

On September 4, 2002, the House Appropriations Chairman, C.W. "Bill" Young, introduced the FY 2003 House Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill (HR 5320). The bill, as introduced, is identical to the President's FY 03 budget request. The action was taken to fulfill a House Republican leadership commitment to take up the Labor/HHS/Education bill before any other appropriation bill. The text of the President's budget is available at http://w3.access.gpo.gov/usbudget.

Bills of Interest

H.R. 5005 B On July 26, 2002, the House passed with amendments H.R.5005, the Department of Homeland Security Act of 2002. Provisions would authorize the new Department to conduct basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing, and evaluations related to chemical, biological, radiological, and other emerging terrorist threats, provided that these activities do not extend to human health-related research and development. The bill also would require the Secretary of HHS to set priorities, goals, objectives, and policies and develop a coordinated strategy for civilian human-health related R&D activities related to countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and other emerging terrorist threats. This would be done in collaboration with the Secretary for Homeland Security to ensure consistency with the Department of Homeland Security=s national policy and strategic plan. H.R.5005 was considered in the Senate on July 31, 2002, where a cloture motion was offered to limit further consideration of the measure to 30 hours of debate.

H. R. 4775 B On July 23, 2002, the House passed the conference report for H.R. 4775, the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States. The Senate passed the measure on July 24. The President signed the bill into law on August 2, 2002. (P.L. 107-206).

H.R. 3814 - "The National Center for Social Work Research Act" was introduced February 27, 2002, by Rep. Rodriguez (D-TX) for himself and Rep. Upton (R-MI). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill would establish a National Center for Social Work Research as part of the National Institutes of Health to conduct, support, and disseminate targeted research on social work methods and outcomes related to problems of significant social concern. As of July 26, 2002, the bill had 33 co-sponsors (27 Democrats; 6 Republicans).

H.R. 3793 - "The Health Professionals Substance Abuse Education Act" was introduced February 26, 2002, by Rep. Kennedy (D-RI). The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. A companion measure, S.1966, was introduced February 26, 2002, in the Senate by Sen. Biden (D-DE). The Senate bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The bills would promote education of health professionals concerning substance abuse and addiction, authorize $3.5 million for FY 2002 through 2006, and would create an oversight committee to include the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and representatives of NIDA, NIAAA, SAMHSA, HRSA, as well as non-governmental organizations.

S. 2633 - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill (S. 2633) sponsored by Joseph R. Biden Jr., (D-DE) that would include raves under a law that allows prosecutors to seek the destruction of crack houses. The bill would also require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review federal sentencing guidelines for offenses involving the drug gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).

Congressional Hearings and Visits

May 13, 2002 - NIDA staff participated in a briefing for House and Senate staff from several committees, on the NIDA evaluation of the ONDCP youth anti-drug media campaign. Hill staff included: Marcia Lee, Senate Judiciary staff; Jeff Ashford, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury Postal Service; Charlie Diaz, drug policy advisor to the Speaker of the House; Dave Bucci, Mr. Portman's staff; Tony Haywood, Mr. Cumming's staff. The briefing was conducted by Drs. Peter Delany and James Colliver, NIDA and Drs. Dave Macklin and Robert Orwin, Westat.

May 14, 2002 - NIDA staff participated in a briefing for staff of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. Drs. James Colliver and Peter Delany, NIDA conducted the briefing.

June 6, 2002 - NIDA staff participated in a briefing on the evaluation of the ONDCP Media Campaign for Walter Hearne, majority, and Mike Malone, minority staff of the House Appropriations Treasury Postal Subcommittee. Dr. Wilson Compton, Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research (DESPR), and Dr. Susan Martin, project officer for the evaluation contract, conducted the briefing.

June 20, 2002 - Dr. Wilson Compton, Director, DESPR, testified at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Treasury Postal Service of House Appropriations Committee concerning the NIDA evaluation of the ONDCP Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign.

July 23, 2002 - Dr. Glen R. Hanson, Acting Director, NIDA, briefed Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) on drug abuse research, particularly with regard to the commonalities of substance abuse and mental illness.

July 31, 2002 - Dr. Glen R. Hanson had a courtesy visit with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to discuss drug abuse research.


Index

Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings

Publications

Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors



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