The criminal justice system encounters and supervises a large number of drug abusing persons. Punishment alone is a futile and ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a strong genetic component that in most instances requires treatment. Involvement in the criminal justice system provides a unique opportunity to treat drug abuse disorders and related health conditions, thereby improving public health and safety. This presentation highlights the following: 1) the neuro-biology of addiction; 2) evidence-based principles of addiction treatment; and 3) research efforts underway at the National Institute on Drug Abuse to expand knowledge on effectively addressing drug abuse in the criminal justice system.