Full Text PA-97-043
 
RESEARCH ON THE ORIGINS AND PATHWAYS TO DRUG ABUSE
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 8, March 14, 1997
 
PA NUMBER:  PA-97-043
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Drugs/Drug Abuse 
  Etiology 
  Biomedical Research, Multidiscipl 

 
National Institute on Drug Abuse
 
PURPOSE
 
This program announcement encourages research exploring the origins
of and pathways to drug abuse.  Of particular interest are
multidisciplinary, integrative and developmental approaches.  A keen
understanding of the factors and processes that predispose and
protect an individual from drug abuse from initial use through
different stages of drug involvement is essential to the successful
prevention and treatment of drug abuse.  Investigators from diverse
scientific disciplines are encouraged to apply either individually
(e.g. as individual projects) or collectively (e.g. as a program
project).
 
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000
 
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This program
announcement, Research on the Origins and Pathways to Drug Abuse, is
related to priority area of alcohol and other drugs.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of Healthy People  2000 (full Report:
Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
Applications may be submitted by foreign and domestic, for-profit and
nonprofit organizations, public and private, such as universities,
colleges, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions, units of
State of local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal
government.  Applications from minority individuals, women and
persons with disabilities are encouraged. Foreign applicants are not
eligible for First Independent Research Support and Transition
(FIRST) Awards.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
Support mechanisms include:  Project Grants (R01), Small Grants
(R03), Exploratory Grants (R21), First Independent Research Support
and Transition Awards (R29), Program Projects (P01) and Research
Centers (P20, P30, P50, and P60).  Application for Research Centers
must be in accordance with the NIDA guidelines for Research Center
applications.  Consultation with NIDA Program staff is encouraged
prior to application.  Please refer to the guidelines for the
specific eligibility requirements for the Small Grant Program (R03),
PA-91-08, the Exploratory Grant Program (R21), and First Independent
Research Support and Transition (FIRST) Award (R29).  Because the
nature and scope of the research proposed in this program
announcement may vary, it is anticipated the size of an award will
vary also.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Earlier attempts to understand the origins of drug abuse often
utilized simple linear models in which susceptibility to drug
involvement was construed and investigated in terms of the magnitude
of a single risk factor or the sum of a limited set of identified
risk factors.  In more recent research, even when multiple
contributive factors have been considered, the emphasis has commonly
been on simple additive models of predispositional factors and these
models have typically concentrated on factors from a single domain
(i.e. the biological, the psychological/behavioral or the
environmental).  As a result, attempts to understand the origins and
nature of drug abuse have typically been based on non-systemic models
and have, for example, rarely considered the interaction of
predispositional and protective factors or the interaction of factors
from differing domains.
 
In addition, factors have typically been assumed to be absolute,
neither changing nor having different influences over time, across
populations or cultures, at different stages of an individual's
maturation and development, or at different points of one's drug
involvement history (i.e. initiation, escalation, maintenance,
relapse).  Similarly, few studies have investigated the natural
waxing and waning of drug involvement which typically occurs over the
course of an individual using drugs.  Lastly, models and research on
the origins of drug abuse have often assumed that drug abuse and drug
abusers are basically homogeneous, giving little attention, for
example, to understanding individual differences in drug involvement,
to identifying different patterns of drug involvement, or to
differences in drug involvement associated with different drugs.
Although etiological research to date has made much progress and
produced critical information, further progress requires a
sophisticated advance in the basic approaches being used.  It is this
next generation of research on the origins of and multiple pathways
to drug abuse and the factors which determine individuals'
susceptibility and/or resistance to each potential stage of drug
involvement which this program announcement seeks to support.
 
Investigators are encouraged to use biological, socio-cultural,
psychological, and developmental perspectives in both cross-sectional
and longitudinal studies to study the origins of and pathways to drug
abuse.  Research is needed to determine the interactions and
cumulative impact of factors from the various domains (genetic,
neurobiological, psychological, social and cultural, and
environmental factors and processes) on the various potential stages
of drug involvement (initiation, escalation, resistance to drug
involvement and escalation, continuation, discontinuation, relapse
and, recovery of drug abuse and dependence.  Researchers are also
encouraged to study the powerful and diverse effects of gender,
culture, age, racial/ethnic minority group membership and other cross
cutting influences on the various aspects, patterns, and stages of
drug abuse.
 
NIDA will continue to support a broad range of research on the
origins of drug abuse; of particular interest are proposals which
include or study at least some of the following:
 
- multifactorial and multidimensional approaches which investigate
the interaction of factors from different domains and the ways in
which these interactions or systems influence drug involvement
 
- predispositional and protective factors, processes, and systems
particularly in terms of their interaction and the ways in which
these interactions or systems influence drug involvement
 
- a developmental perspective, particularly incorporating a
multidimensional approach (factors and processes from different
domains may vary in their influence on drug involvement depending of
the developmental or maturational level of the individual)
 
- the heterogeneity of drug abuse and drug abusers including
different paths leading to drug abuse and different patterns of drug
abuse
 
- individual differences in drug abuse at the various stages of drug
abuse involvement (and non-involvement)
 
- context sensitivity investigating influences such as culture,
historical time period, generation, familial constellations, etc.
 
- the role of gender in drug involvement and the development of
different patterns of drug involvement
 
- the nature of drug abuse and the development of different patterns
of drug involvement within the various racial/ethnic minority groups;
including the role of community factors, the impact of immigration
status, the influence of cultural assimilation, the effects of such
factors as poverty, racism, poor housing conditions, limited
educational and employment opportunities, etc.
 
- subpopulations whom research has shown to be often involved with
drug abuse such as school drop-outs, gang members, children of drug
or alcohol abusers, homeless people, trauma survivors, individuals
with various co-occurring psychopathologies, etc.
 
- models which identify potentially effective points, targets and
goals of successful prevention and treatment intervention for
different populations
 
- drug "careers" and/or lifespan involvement including the natural
history of drug involvement and the effects of one period of drug
involvement by an individual on subsequent drug stages and patterns
of drug involvement
 
- methods of "early" premorbid determination of the nature and degree
of individuals' susceptibility to drug involvement and methods for
the identification of individuals who might particularly benefit from
early preventive intervention
 
- the nature and extent to which consequences of drug abuse at one
stage of involvement can facilitate or inhibit subsequent abuse,
escalation or discontinuation, etc.
 
- transitions at all stages of drug abuse
 
- the contributions, and the factors and processes underlying the
contributions of the use of legal psychoactive substances (tobacco,
alcohol, prescribed psychoactives, over-the-counter medications,
etc.) on subsequent illicit drug abuse
 
- the relationship of drug abuse and its development to other
frequently co-occurring problems, particularly: 1) pathological,
dysfunctional, deviant, delinquent, criminal and other risky
behaviors; 2) psychiatric disorders, dysfunctions and subclinical
impairments, including psychological, cognitive, and affect and
behavior regulation impairments
 
- processes/characteristics hypothesized to be intrinsic to the
development of drug abuse such as craving, self-medication, loss of
control, compulsive behaviors, risk assessment, etc. and
processes/characteristics hypothesized to be inherent in drug abuse
resistance and recovery such as resilience, adaptiveness,
responsiveness to intervention, etc.; underlying
processes/characteristics which may have multiple manifestations, one
of which may be drug abuse
 
- phenomena which may be related to the development of drug abuse
such as common sequences of drugs used by individuals during the
escalation of their drug involvement over time, common combination of
drugs used by abusers, spontaneous quitting, etc.
 
- the convergence and/or divergence of phenomena observed in
different domains; for example an investigation of possible neuro-
biological mechanisms underlying a behavior commonly associated with
drug abuse
 
- organization of information about drug abuse into coherent
conceptualizations and tests of the validity and utility of the
resultant models and theories
 
When appropriate, animal models of the above research areas are
encouraged.  Particularly encouraged are studies focusing on
determinants of individual differences in drug involvement and the
development of different drug abuse patterns as well as studies of
correlates and markers of these individual differences.
 
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS
 
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations) which
have been in effect since 1990. The new policy contains some new
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
 
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research", which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513), and reprinted
in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of March 18, 1994, Volume
23, Number 11.
 
Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the
program staff or contact listed below.  Program staff may also
provide additional relevant information concerning the policy.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS
398 (rev. 5/95) and will be accepted at the standard application
deadlines as indicated in the application kit. Application kits are
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may
be obtained from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural
Outreach and Information, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892-7710, telephone 301/435-0714,
email: asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.  The title and number of the
announcement must be typed in Section 2 on the face page of the
application.
 
FIRST award applicants must include at least three sealed letters of
reference attached to the face page of the original applications.
FIRST award applications submitted without the required number of
reference letters will be considered incomplete and will be returned
without review.  FIRST award applications must use the Just-in-Time
applications procedures; see NIH Guide, Volume 25, Number 10, March
29, 1996 and Volume 25, Number 16, May 17, 1996.
 
The completed original application and five legible copies must be
sent or delivered to:
 
Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room MSC-7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817-7710 (for express/courier service)
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group conveneed in
accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of
the initial merit review, all applications will receive a written
critique and undergo a process in which only those applications
deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half
of applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority
score and receive a second level review by the appropriate national
advisory council.  R03 applications do not receive a second-level
review.
 
Review criteria include the following:
 
o  scientific, technical, or clinical significance and originality of
proposed research;
 
o  appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;
 
o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigator and staff;
 
o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research and availability of the resources necessary to
conduct the research;
 
o  adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.
Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be
evaluated.
 
The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human and animal subjects, and the safety of the
research environment.
 
Other review criteria may apply to specific mechanisms (e.g., P01,
R21) and staff should be consulted for details.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications.  Quality of proposed project as determined by peer
review, availability of funds, and program priority will be
considered in making funding decisions.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
answer questions from potential applicants is welcome.
 
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
 
Meyer D. Glantz, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Science,
Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, NIDA
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-53
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-2974
Email:  mg115g@nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Gary Fleming, J.D., M.A.
Chief, Grants Management Branch
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 8A-54
Rockville, Maryland  20857
Telephone:  301-443-6710
Email:  gf6s@nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.279.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act Section 301 (42 USC 241) and administered
under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations at Title 42 CFR
Part 52, "Grants for Research Projects,"  Title 45 CFR part 74 & 92,
"Administration of Grants," and 45 CFR Part 46, "Protection of Human
Subjects."  Title 42 CFR Part 2 "Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug
Abuse Patient Records" may also be applicable to these awards.  This
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements
of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.  Sections
of the Code of Federal Regulations are available in booklet form from
the U.S. Government Printing Office.  Awards must be administered in
accordance with the PHS Grants Policy Statement, (Revised, 10/90),
which may be available from your office of sponsored research.
 
The Public Health Service strongly encourages all grant recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
American people.
 
.

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