SWHR Comments to NIDA on Strategic Plan for FYs 2021-2025

Policy Engagement

Published 8/11/20

SWHR provided input to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on its Strategic Plan Outline for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2021-2025.

SWHR offered recommendations on cross-cutting research topics and priority research goals for advancing NIDA science on the causes and consequences of substance use and addiction and applying that knowledge to improve individual and public health.

In the letter, SWHR discussed the need to address stigma and health disparity barriers surrounding substance abuse disorders facing women and the importance of understanding sex and gender differences in substance use and their impact on treatment and recovery.

Major SWHR recommendations included:

  • Identifying research and knowledge gaps on the stigmatization of women with substance use disorders.
  • Developing a public awareness to communicate the unique challenges women with substance abuse disorders face.
  • Promoting research study designs that analyze factors for specific populations like women and/or people of color.
  • Fostering career development in clinical research for women and other underrepresented populations.
  • Assessing the science on sex and gender differences in substance use.

In addition, SWHR supported NIDA’s prioritization of research goals that:

  • Advance neuroscience to understand how and why brain changes in women who use substances are different from those in men,
  • Target prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions to the needs of the patient and family, and
  • Use real-world settings to understand the impact of racial inequity, cultural differences, and social structures in accessing and utilizing quality care for substance use disorders.

Read SWHR’s Comments