Each year at the NIDA Constituent Conference, representatives of national groups in the field of drug abuse provide advice and feedback to the Institute. During the meeting, participants recommend to NIDA staff activities that they think the Institute should undertake to advance its mission. At the next constituent conference, NIDA reports on the actions it has taken in response to the input from constituents. NIDA calls this detailed list of activities its "Report Card."
NIDA's 1998 Report Card lists 139 activities that address constituents' recommendations. A sampling of these activities is listed below.
- Sponsored the "National Conference on Drug Addiction Treatment: From Research to Practice," in Washington, D.C., in April 1998. The conference highlighted more than 20 years of research on drug addiction treatment and was attended by leaders of national drug abuse organizations, related organizations, treatment practitioners, the media, and the public.
- Published two new cocaine treatment manuals:
- Continued its "Town Meetings" series with meetings in Boston and Des Moines, Iowa, in 1998. At these events, Dr. Leshner and NIDA researchers provide information and guidance to help State and local organizations, policymakers, and communities assess their local drug problems and develop specific programs to address these problems.
- Released a Community Drug Alert Bulletin on methamphetamine at the Des Moines Town Meeting in October. This bulletin highlights the current understanding of methamphetamine as a public health threat.
- Published Drug Addiction Research and the Health of Women and its companion Executive Summary and posted these documents on the NIDA Web site. At this national conference in 1994 leaders in women's health addressed the issues of drug abuse by women from historical, epidemiologic, biological-behavioral, and legal perspectives.
- Launched NIDA Infofax, a mail/phone/fax information retrieval system accessed via a toll-free telephone number. NIDA Infofax offers free, accurate information on drug abuse and addiction in English, Spanish, or TTY, toll-free, 24 hours a day. Callers can receive fact sheets and news releases by fax or mail, or hear recorded messages about the health effects of specific drugs, drug abuse and AIDS, prevention and treatment, and nationwide trends. Infofax is the first network-based system of its kind at NIH.
- Published Assessing Drug Abuse Within and Across Communities, which is designed to help communities understand their local drug abuse problems and develop epidemiologic surveillance systems to assess local drug abuse patterns and trends.
- Established the Center for AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse to address the role of drug abuse as the leading risk factor for new cases of HIV infection and other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and tuberculosis.
- Proposed the establishment of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network to conduct large, rigorous, statistically powerful, controlled, multisite treatment studies in community settings with diverse patient populations.
- Developed a new publication, Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, in collaboration with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The report provides the most current findings and interpretations of data in the areas of cost and cost analysis.
- Launched the Vulnerability to Addiction Initiative to explore why some people are more likely than others to abuse drugs.
- Is establishing Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers in partnership with the National Cancer Institute to support research on tobacco use initiation, addiction, cessation, and prevention.