The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has released its five-year strategic plan for research to optimize the allocation of resources as the NIAAA works to understand and treat alcohol-related diseases.
Alcohol contributes to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States, making it the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the nation. It is responsible for almost half of all liver disease deaths and is the leading preventable cause of birth defects. In total, problems relating to alcohol cost the nation $249 billion each year, the NIH said in a release. The research and work of the NIAAA is aimed at improving the odds for millions of Americans affected by alcohol each year.
The strategic plan outlines several main goals including ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism, prevention of alcohol abuse, and improving treatments for those suffering from alcohol use disorder.
The NIAAA also plans to address misuse of alcohol across a patient’s lifespan and address co-occurring conditions, the release said.