The Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior (IRAB) was established in 2013 through an ingenuity grant from Indiana University’s School of Public Health –Bloomington (SPH-B). IRAB serves as the core analytic unit that serves the SPH-B by conducting evaluation and investigative research. The institute is premised on the foundation that by working together across disciplines we can optimize the quality and relevance of research on addictive behavior and related problems.
Addictive behavior refers to a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual’s physical well-being, mental health, and social relationships. Characteristics of these behaviors include impaired control, preoccupation with immediate gratification, continued involvement in the activity despite short and long-term negative consequences, and denial. Defined in this way, the Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior (IRAB) supports a wide scope of research on addictive behavior including, but not limited to, substance abuse problems, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and sexual disorders. Since there are likely multiple factors contributing to such patterns of behavior, the IRAB encourages research approaches in the diverse field of addictions that embrace biological/physiological, chemical/ pharmacological, or social/psychological perspectives.