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The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, supports and conducts biomedical and behavioral research on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. It funds approximately 90 percent of all such research in the United States and promotes reductions in the per capita consumption of alcohol. NIAAA also provides leadership in the national effort to reduce the severe and sometimes fatal consequences of these problems.

According to its Mission Statement, the agency provides leadership in the national effort to reduce alcohol-related problems by:

  • Conducting and supporting research in a wide range of scientific areas including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption, prevention, and treatment
  • Coordinating and collaborating with other research institutes and federal programs on alcohol-related issues
  • Collaborating with international, national, state, and local institutions, organizations, agencies, and programs engaged in alcohol-related work
  • Translating and disseminating research findings to health care providers, researchers, policymakers, and the public.

The Vision Statement of the agency is to support and promote the best science on alcohol and health for the benefit of all by:

  • Increasing the understanding of normal and abnormal biological functions and behavior relating to alcohol use
  • Improving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol use disorders
  • Enhancing quality health care

NIAAA's research initiatives are:

  • Basic Research on Medications Development for Alcohol-Use Disorders
  • Genetic Studies of Vulnerability to Alcohol
  • Mechanisms and Markers of Alcohol-Induced Organ Damage and Organ Protection
  • Behavioral and Genetic Risk Factors for Alcoholism
  • Long-term, Community-Based Prevention of Alcohol Problems at Specific Life Stages: Underage Populations and the Elderly
  • Identifying the Neuroscientific Basis of Alcohol-Related Behaviors
  • Multi-site, Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Women, HIV/AIDS, and Alcohol
  • Disparities in Adverse and Beneficial Effects of Alcohol
  • Advancing Behavioral Therapies for Alcoholism


Among grants made by the NIAAA, $2.6 million has been allocated to research methods of reducing alcohol use among Chinese prostitutes in order to reduce HIV transmission.[1]



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