Substance Use

The NIH supports a variety of research projects related to substance use prevention, including projects studying alcohol and illicit and non-medical prescription drug use. Find tobacco research-related information and resources in our section on tobacco use.

From ODP

Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

An impact evaluation published in Prevention Science describes how the 2014 NIH P2P Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain catalyzed change by helping inform over 100 new research projects to address identified evidence gaps and by contributing to national legislation and practice guidelines.


Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment or Prevention (SBIRT/P) for alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) use and misuse in adult populations that experience health disparities (R01, Clinical Trial Required) [PAR-23-270]. First available due date: February 5, 2024 (expires May 8, 2027)

Resources for Researchers

Explore databases and tools for substance use research.

Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS)

Provides detailed information on 35 categories of alcohol-related policies in the United States at both state and federal levels. It also includes policy-related information on recreational use of cannabis.


A database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), developed to archive and distribute the results of studies that have investigated the interaction of genotype and phenotype. dbGaP includes data from the Collaborative Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) project.

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, released in 2016, includes key information and findings related to substance use, misuse, and substance use disorders.

National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III)

A national survey on alcohol and drug use and disorders, related risk factors, and associated physical and mental disabilities.


Interested in funding opportunities or planning to submit an application in substance use research? Use these tools to find what you need:

Research Methods Training

Learn about NIH programs to help you prepare for careers in substance use research.

INVEST Prevention Drug Use and Addiction Research Fellowship

Provides a unique opportunity for researchers from any country to obtain postdoctoral training with a NIDA-supported U.S. mentor. During the fellowship, the fellow receives training in drug use and addiction research methods, develops and conducts a research project with the NIDA grantee, and participates in professional development activities.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program

Provides research training opportunities for high school, undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate, medical, and postdoctoral students.

NIH Institutes/Centers and Federal Partner Activities

Many NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) actively engage in and support substance use research and may be helpful starting points as you plan your research or if you’re exploring the latest work in a specific area. Because ICs and other federal agencies may have several ongoing substance use programs and projects, we encourage you to use the links provided to find the most up-to-date information, including how to contact program officials who may be able to address your specific questions.