The planned merger of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is likely to be delayed until October 2013, the Los Angeles Times reports. The merger originally was scheduled for October 2012.
Both federal agencies deal with research and education on substance abuse issues. The new entity would be called the National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders.
According to the article, the delay was prompted by a wish for more input about the merger from those who would be affected, including scientists and advocacy groups. There is debate about whether the merger’s main goal is better science that is conducted more efficiently, or cost-cutting, the newspaper notes. Susan Weiss, Acting Director of the Office of Science Policy and Communications at NIDA, told the newspaper, “Everyone is worried about the money. We have been assured it’s not going to result in less money.”
In a profile in The New York Times last week, NIDA Director Dr. Volkow said she is in favor of the planned merger between NIDA and NIAAA. She said that addictions share many triggers and much biology, and tend to move together.