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NIH won't establish new substance abuse institute

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, announced on November 16 that he has decided not to move forward with a recommendation from NIH's Scientific Management Review Board that NIH establish a new institute focused on substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research.

As such, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will retain their institutional identities. Collins was initially favorable about the idea and formed an internal task force to recommend how a merger of the two institutes could best be accomplished, but in the recent statement he said he "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."

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