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Addiction Risks and Mechanisms Study Section [ARM]

The Addiction Risks and Mechanisms (ARM) study section reviews applications for quantitative and qualitative human research aimed at understanding the nature and etiology of addiction at the individual level. Variables of interest may be behavioral, psychological, psychosocial, psychiatric, genetic, cognitive, biological, or neurophysiological. Methodological approaches may be longitudinal, cross-sectional, survey- and interview-based, experimental or laboratory-based, or may focus on the analysis of existing datasets.



  • Use and abuse of illicit drugs (including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, new and emerging drugs) and alcohol; prescription drug misuse; nicotine dependence and use of alternative tobacco products.
  • Environmental, psychological, genetic, biological, and other risk factors that might influence or predict the onset or progression of addictive behaviors during critical developmental periods (e.g., adolescence, emerging adulthood) and across the lifespan; inter-generational transmission of addictive behaviors.
  • Co-morbidity of addictions and other behavioral, medical, and psychological conditions; substance-related violence and victimization.
  • Factors that might predict who is most likely to benefit from evidence-based substance use treatments.
  • The influence of social and environmental context on addictive behaviors in individuals.
  • Acute and long-term behavioral and physiological effects of substance use and misuse.
  • Laboratory studies examining drug or alcohol administration in controlled conditions.
  • Neurocognitive processes associated with addictive behaviors such as cue reactivity, impulsivity, and decision making. Studies may include brain imaging (e.g., fMRI) and electrophysiological (e.g., EEG) methods.
  • Preliminary assessments of how candidate pharmacotherapies affect neurocognitive processes and mechanisms associated with addictive behaviors.
  • The development and testing of tools and methods for understanding addiction.

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