Originally posted on the CPDD Listserv, posted here on behalf of Jim Anthony
Folks in CPDD:
Many of us within CPDD view alcohol/ethanol and tobacco/nicotine as 'drugs'. We view the early-mid-1970s substitution of the term 'substance' as an inappropriate politics maneuver, and possibly a supercilious denial that ethanol/alcohol and tobacco/nicotine are drugs.
In consequence, the idea of a new NIH agency called "Institute for Substance Use, Abuse, and Addiction" may be a bit of an injection of politics into the science. There is a Facebook group that advocates a different name such as: "National Institute on Drug Use and the Public's Health."
I invite you to join that Facebook group and to help us make sure that the politics are not injected into the science of NIH research.
(I appreciate that there may be an intent for a reach toward 'internet addiction', 'gambling addiction', 'food addiction', 'exercise addiction', 'sugar addiction', etc., and to bring these related conditions into the fold. This goal can be accomplished by taking a page from the NESARC program - e.g., 'National Institute on Drug Use and Related Conditions' although my personal preference is to bring those conditions into the fold via the allusion to the Public's Health.)
The most important piece of this "pontification" is not to saddle future generations of scientists with the politics that were involved when early-mid-1970s political considerations got injected into the naming of SAMHSA.
Also, please note that, to date, the leaders of CPDD resisted any notion of changing the name of the college to 'College on Problems of Substance Dependence' even though the reach of CPDD includes all of the above-listed 'related conditions'. We can deal with this issue in the 'fine print' of the new institute's description and in its program announcements or funding opportunity statements, exactly where we also can deal with the fact that the domain of 'drug' can extend to aspirin, chlorpromazine, and other 'drugs' of less central prominence within the new institute's range.
CPDDBLOG welcomes CPDD member’s thoughts on this issue.