Media Guide
Dear Journalist

This is Archived Content. This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Find current research and publications at

We thank you for your interest in the vitally important issues of drug use and addiction.

Today, thanks to science, our views and responses to addiction have changed dramatically. After more than four decades of research, as well as the development of exciting new imaging technologies, we know that drug addiction is a disorder of the brain that affects behavior—a disorder that can respond to treatment.

As the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), I am pleased to offer this guide to the important findings that are emerging as a result of research on addiction and its treatment. NIDA, one of 27 institutes within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), supports most of the world’s research on drug use and addiction. Findings from basic and behavioral science address fundamental and essential questions relevant to the entire spectrum of substance use disorders, ranging from causes and consequences to treatment and prevention.

The purpose of this guide is to give journalists fast and user-friendly access to the latest scientific information. In more than 35 years as a researcher, I have seen the impact that science and health journalists have in bringing scientific research to the public. It is through information that Americans gain hope and understanding.

I have come to know many of you over the years and remain committed to releasing scientific information as quickly as possible for rapid dissemination to the public. Please keep this guide nearby as a useful tool and let us know how NIDA’s communication staff can provide you with information to meet your deadlines.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIDA’s Public Information and Liaison Branch: NIDA’s Link to the Media 

We are committed to bringing timely, factual information on addiction and its treatment to the press and public. NIDA’s Public Information and Liaison Branch (PILB) is part of NIDA’s Office of Science Policy and Communications. Linking scientists, the scientific community, and the media, PILB supports the rapid dissemination of research information to inform policy and improve practice. NIDA’s goal is to ensure that science—not ideology or anecdote—forms the foundation of public information on drug use and addiction.

Visit us online at, or contact the NIDA Press Office at  or 301-443-6245 for information and access to experts, research, news, and information. PILB developed this guide as part of NIDA’s mission to close the gap between the public’s impressions about drug addiction and the knowledge gained from scientific research on addiction and substance use.