NIDA Funded or Conducted Clinical Trials

Clinical research is medical research that involves people like you. When you volunteer to take part in clinical research, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future. Clinical research includes all research that involves people.

Clinical trials are clinical research studies that help doctors and researchers better understand human health, including finding new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Clinical trials can enroll both people who do and do not have a known health problem. Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Read more about the basics of clinical trials.

NIDA-funded or NIDA-conducted clinical trials aim to better understand the brain and the biology and behaviors related to drug use (including nicotine and cannabis), addiction, and related conditions.  

If you are interested in participating in a NIDA-funded or NIDA-conducted clinical trial or want to find out more information for a loved one, see below for frequently asked questions, follow the steps for finding a clinical trial, or visit NIH’s Clinical Research Trials and You page for more information.

What are clinical trials?
  • Clinical trials are research studies involving people that help to find new ways learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
  • Each clinical trial follows an approved plan to make sure that the trial follows safety guidelines.
Who participates in clinical trials?
  • Different types of people participate in clinical trials. For example, trials can enroll:
    • Healthy volunteer: A person who does not have a known significant health problem.
    • Patient volunteer: A person who has a known health problem.
  • Whether or not someone can participate in a clinical trial will also depend on the rules that each clinical trial has about who can participate.
Why should someone participate in a clinical trial?

People participate in clinical trials for different reasons. Some of the reasons include:

  • Helping to move science forward.
  • To help others get better treatment for their health problems in the future.
  • To play a more active role in their health care.
  • To try new experimental interventions and have additional care and attention from clinical trial staff.
How long is a clinical trial?
  • Each trial is different.
  • Clinical trials can last for few months or several years.
  • Clinical trial participants can leave the trial at any time.
Do people have to pay to participate?
  • There is no charge for study-related medical care, like study visits, medicines, or procedures.
  • The trial may also pay for transportation or other costs.
How can someone participate in a clinical trial?

Take a look at the databases below to see if there is a clinical trial that is the right fit. You can use:

What can clinical trials study?
  • New drugs or new combinations of drugs
  • New medical devices
  • New ways to use existing treatments
  • New ways to change behaviors to improve health
  • New ways to improve the quality of life for people with acute or chronic illnesses.
  • New ways of doing surgery
Why is diversity and inclusion important in clinical trials?
  • People may experience the same disease differently. It’s essential that clinical trials include people with a variety of lived experiences and living conditions, as well as characteristics like race and ethnicity, age, sex, and sexual orientation, so that all communities benefit from scientific advances.
  • See Diversity & Inclusion in Clinical Trials for more information.

Finding a NIDA-funded or NIDA-conducted Clinical Trial

If you are interested in joining a clinical trial or want to see what clinical trials are existing, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Start with

Look for NIDA trials at

  • is a searchable registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials. 
  • The website gives information on:
    • The trial’s purpose
    • Who can participate
    • Locations
    • Who to contact for more information 
  • If you are looking to participate in a clinical trial:
    • Check the “Recruiting” checkbox on the left side menu under Status.
    • Click the blue Apply button on the left side menu under Filters.
      • This will show studies that are looking for participants. 
  • If you need help on how to use the website’s search feature, visit How to Search and How to Use Search
  • If you want more information on clinical studies from, visit their Learn About Clinical Studies page.
  • A study on does not mean that is has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Use this information along with any advice from health care professionals and talk to your health care provider about the potential risks and benefits of the trial. 
Step 2: Check out other registries

Additional research studies from the NIDA Intramural Research Program take place in Baltimore, MD

  • This research facility is located in Baltimore, MD. 
  • There are studies for those who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, use other drugs (like cocaine, marijuana, opioids, and others), or have never used any of these substances. 
  • You can choose to schedule a time for NIDA to call you at your convenience.
  • If you have questions about study participation, privacy and permission, what to expect at screening, or about NIDA studies, call (800) 535-8254 and/or visit their FAQs page.