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Blau & Abramovitz (2007) define social welfare as basically the social services that are offered by the state in addressing the underlying social problems that are affecting its citizens. They note that social welfare normally incorporate various policy framework that are intended to choose, define, and offer explanatory theories in addressing social problems in the society. According to the two scholars, identifying the role played by the social welfare role policy in enhancing income maintenance and a health standard in a society is not only essential for social justices but it also enhances economic justice for the people. They further note that the war on drug abuse in the United States led to the establishment of National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) whose primary mandate is to implement the social welfare policy and programs that help in identifying and addressing various social problems that are associated with drug abuse.
According to Volkow (2010), the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) primary objective is to support research programs and processes that are intended to study the nature, patterns and extents of drug abuse in a society. He points out that NIDA normally collaborates with the state, federal, and international governmental agencies not only to research on the consequences, prevention measure, and treatment of various drugs abused but also in developing and enhancing drug abuse surveillance programs. This is done through its epidemiology network that helps in addressing social issues and problems associated with drug abuse.
The write up in analyzing the social welfare policy of the National Institute of Drug and Abuse (NIDA) highlights the current social issue that is addressed by the social welfare policy. It also addresses not only the goal of the program involved but also the current policy or legislation that has been established towards the effectiveness of social welfare policy. Moreover, the write up gives analysis of both the implementation of the associated program and the intended or actual impact of social welfare policy towards the affected people.
The Social Issue or Problem Addressed by NIDA’s Social Welfare Policy
According to Blau & Abramovitz (2007), it is important to note that the social issue does not just exist, but is rather constructed to capture the problem that affects majority of the population. They note that constructing a social problem entails three elementary components which include choosing, framing, and finally illustrating explanatory theory that can address the social problem or issues affecting the majority of people. For instance, drug abuse has adversely affected the majority of the population in the United State based on its negative social and economic impact. Blau & Abramovitz (2007) point out that U.S normally records an annual death toll of approximately 440,000 due to the effect of the drug abuse. This in turn has prompted the intervention of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in identifying the causes and consequences that are associated with drug abuse among the people in addressing the menace.
Thomas, Richardson & Cheung (2009) point out that National Institute of Drug Abuse has been engaging itself into social welfare policy framework in collaboration with other research agencies in analyzing the drug epidemiology especially on drug addiction. They note that the social policy is devised to capture the behavioral and social mechanisms that are associated with drug abuse. This has helped in understanding the nature, extent, distribution, and consequences of drug use and abuse on the population. For instance, the NIDA’s research social policy framework addresses the drug addiction menace by identifying the stigmatization associated with drug addicts and the primary role that health care givers can play in developing compassion among the affected drug addicts (Thomas, Richardson & Cheung, 2009). This is essential for various stakeholders including the government, especially in initiating various programs like those related to social insurance, public aid, and direct human services that are not only intended to offer social and economic support but also to provide rehabilitation processes.
On the other hand, Lopez (2011) notes that NIDA incorporates epidemiology drug abuse social welfare policy that addresses the social, environmental, and individual interactions that contribute to drug abuse among people. She points out that this is intended to identify the intermediate environmental structural components that contribute to drug abuse and drug addiction. She argues that this can help both an individual and the society in inhibiting effective behavioral characteristics that do not result into drug abuse practices may in the long run turn may result in stigmatization based on drug addiction. Furthermore, she points out that drug addiction is a serious disease that affects the human brain by not only affecting its functionality, but also undermines the brain development due to the resulting stigmatization on drug addicts. Therefore, enhancing NIDA’s social welfare policy is essential in addressing such drug menace.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse’ Budgetary Allocation
According to Volkow (2012), the National Institute of Drug Abuse has budgeted for funding of various programs that are intended to address the impact of drug abuse, addiction, and the corresponding steps that can be taken in addressing such menace. She points out that the current budget allocation for the fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) account for 0.18% increase for the budget allocation of the FY2012. She points out that this is due to the NIDA’s intense campaign and research intervention in addressing the drug abuse and addiction in the society. According to her, the budget allocation of the NIDA’s FY2013 is $1,054,001,000 which is $1.887 million increase compared to FY2012 which was $ 1,052,114,000. She notes that the NIDA’s programs funding are allocated in terms of competitive grants or cooperative agreements, contracts, direct federal or intramural basis among other factors.
Volkow (2012) points out that the National Institute of Drug Abuse in its effort of expanding the neurobiological, genetic and behavioral factors that are based on drug abuse and addiction has budget for $ 478.902 million, a $0.284 million increased compared to FY2012 for the functional connectivity/biomarkers program. She notes that this program is intended to provide essential information on developing and assessing important methods of preventing and treating the cases of the abuse and addiction of drug. For instance, the study would illustrate how drug addiction affects brain functionality and the behavioral character of the addicted person. Furthermore, she points out that the intervention of biomarkers based on such studies has helped in devising new diagnostic approaches that monitor and detect early mental disorders.
The NIDA’s FY2013 has requested for $245.978 million budget allocation towards epidemiology, services and research prevention programs (Volkwo, 2012). She points out that the project allocation counts for $0.146 million increase as compared to the program’s budget allocation in FY2012. She notes that this program is essential in addressing the integrated approaches that should be emulated towards the health care service delivery especially the interaction between health care providers and drug addicted patients. According to her, stigmatization of persons who are drug addicted in the society has not only impacted negatively on the patient’s health care service delivery, but it has undermined their brain development. In implementing this project, the National Institute of Drug Abuse has adopted the Addiction Performance Project (APP). Johnson (2011) points out that this project, which is a continued Medical Education (CME) & CE program, is intended to help in resolving the issue by breaking down the stigmatization that is normally associated with drug addiction.
According to Johnson (2011), the primary goal of the Addiction Performance Project is not only to encourage cordial interaction through dialogue between patients and care givers in removing associated drug addiction stigmatization, but also to develop compassion for people who are drug addicts. She points out that the health care providers have an important role in driving away stigmatization that is associated with drug addiction.
On the other hand, Volkwo (2012) points out that the FY2013 budgetary allocation would see NIDA spend $130.157 million towards pharmacotherapy’s and medical consequences program aimed at developing medication that would not only help in sustaining people from drug addiction abstinence, but will also help in devising non-addictive medical practices. She argues that through the extraordinary opportunities in medications development for addiction project, NIDA will be able to develop drug addiction medication that would help in treating substance use disorders. She further points out that in sensitizing on such projects, NIDA has budgeted for fund allocation of $47.659 million for the clinical trial network (CTN) that would help in the development of treatment procedures towards drug abuse and addiction in addressing the drug menace in the society.
Moreover, Volkwo (2012) points out that National Institute of Drug Abuse in the FY2013 intend to spend $88.649 million towards intramural research program (IRP) and a further $ 62.656 million on research management and support (RMS) program. He notes that these programs account for $0.71 million and $0.559 million increment respectively compared to the programs previous budgetary allocation.
The Policy or Legislation and Implementation of the Program
According to Volkow (2012), the National Institute of Drug Abuse budgetary allocation is authorized under the Public Health Service Act (PHS) as stipulated on Research and Investigation section 301 and National Institute on Drug Abuse section 401(a). However, she points out that the budgetary policy framework of NIDA is based on its financial year policing. She notes that NIDA has actively engaged in implementing the social programs that address the drug menace. For instance, through NIDA’s research project grants, it has collaborated with National Institute of Health (NIH) in funding Epidemiology of Drug Abuse (R01) intended to develop understanding of the nature, magnitude and consequences of drug abuse and addiction among people (Lopez,2012). She also points out that the project is estimated to cost more than $500 million. However, the program implementations normally see NIDA operates beyond its budgetary allocation yet the programs are not fully covered. For instance, Volkwo (2012) points out that the project implementation for the FY2012 resulted in a deficit of $ 1,994,634 which adversely affected NIDA implementation process.
Even though more monies are allocated towards drug abuse menace, Hakim (2011) notes that drug abuse and addiction are still on the rise in the United States. According to him, the policy framework that is being incorporated by the state and its research agencies have not fully addressed the drug abuse menace that continue to affect the well being of people. For instance, he points out that stigmatization of drug addicts is still a common practice in U.S. as these people are regarded as violent and criminals. He, therefore, advises that implementing the right policy framework towards fighting drugs is the only way of curbing drug menace in the society.
In conclusion, the write up has analyzed the social welfare policy framework of the National Institute of Drug Abuse in addressing the drug menace in the society. It has noted that devising effective social welfare policy requires the full construction of the social problem or issue that adversely affects the majority of the population. The paper has noted the various programs that the NIDA budgetary allocation addresses in curbing the drug menace. However, it has pointed out the need to implement projects based on their budgetary allocation so as not to derail the processes of curbing drug abuse and addiction menace in the society.