Should the NIDA and NIAAA be merged?

The field of drug treatment might be turned on its ear if a recommendation by a special review board comes to fruition. ASAM News reports that the Scientific Review Management Board (SRMB), created by Congress in 2006 to provide oversight to the National Institute of Health (NIH), has recommended that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) be merged.

The SRMB report said that merging the NIDA and NIAAA would maximize efficiencies by creating one institute to research addiction and new addiction treatment program methods. This merger would create lower overhead costs and a more efficient bureaucracy with less red tape for researchers. However, critics contend that the merger would create a scenario where the smaller NIAAA would be overwhelmed by the larger NIDA, leading to less emphasis on funding and research into alcohol addiction.