The mission of the IBR is to evaluate and improve health services that address drug abuse as well as related mental health and social problems. For many years, research staff at the IBR have given special attention to addictions, treatment, and the evaluation of cognitive and behavioral interventions provided by community-based and criminal justice programs. Emphasis has been on the design of studies in real-world settings and the use of advanced multivariate methodologies.

Research interests in recent years include a focus on areas of significant public concern — especially addiction treatments for justice-involved populations (both adult and youth). Other areas of interest include: prevention efforts in the spread of HIV and related infections among drug users and the implementation of evidence-based practices, organizational functioning, and process research. For many years, the IBR functioned as a separate research unit of the university. Common research, training goals, and interests have and continue to align the IBR with the department of psychology. At the IBR, research scientists function much like other university faculty members in that the director is a professor of psychology, and all IBR scientists hold graduate faculty appointments, serve on student thesis and dissertation committees, supervise graduate students, and assist with independent studies. Advanced data management and multivariate analytic techniques provided by IBR staff serve as the foundation for graduate training in health services research.

IBR research goals include the:

(1) generation and dissemination of knowledge that impacts policy decisions in the addiction field at the state, national, and international levels
(2) provision of graduate students with the critical methodological and substantive research training to continue this research
(3) facilitation of collaboration of scientists in achieving their highest scholarly potential
(4) raising the research reputation and visibility of TCU through scientific and public health contributions.

The IBR also strives to be both strategic and deliberate, emphasizing its legacy in research and bridging knowledge gaps in the field.