The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has issued a Notice of Special Interest inviting administrative supplements and competitive revisions to existing grants and cooperative agreements that advance understanding of critical interactions between alcohol, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19. A principal area of focus is research that can improve public health in the near term by informing responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.
Research is needed that can inform and enhance the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by advancing understanding of the relationships between alcohol consumption and misuse, and COVID-19- related outcomes. NIAAA will support research on risks and outcomes associated with alcohol consumption, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population and among underserved populations, such as racial, ethnic and sexual/gender minorities, rural populations, individuals with low socioeconomic status, and those who are incarcerated or homeless.
Examples of research objectives include but are not limited to those that:
* Determine the influence of alcohol drinking history, patterns, amount, and duration on susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 prevalence, severity, progression, and outcomes, including post-acute sequelae. If evidence of an adverse impact of alcohol is affirmed, pathophysiological research into the mechanisms of alcohol as a physiological effector, the results of which will inform therapeutic approaches during the current pandemic, is sought.
* Determine how alcohol misuse and AUD may contribute to neurological and psychiatric manifestations of COVID-19, such as cognitive impairment, sleep disruption, pain, anxiety, etc.
* Characterize changes in alcohol consumption levels and patterns during the pandemic and identify pandemic-related causal influences and mediating and moderating factors.
* Identify best practices in service delivery and barriers to service delivery during the pandemic, including telehealth and in-person options, across the continuum of care for individuals with AUD and in recovery.
Priority consideration will be given to applications that propose urgent, time-sensitive research with a strong conceptual or theoretical foundation and the potential to inform responses to the current pandemic. Proposals must address the relationship between alcohol- and COVID-19-related outcomes or behaviors. Secondary analyses of COVID-19- and alcohol-related datasets are also encouraged.