Pilot program of research to integrate substance abuse issues into mainstream medicine

The Foundation's Pilot Program of Research to Integrate Substance Abuse Issues into Mainstream Medicine was designed to support research to integrate alcohol and drug use issues into mainstream medicine.Some 15 percent of adults in primary care settings have alcohol or drug use disorders in the dependent or addictive range and an additional 25 to 35 percent have less severe disorders including harmful use or abuse of alcohol and drugs. Many approaches have been considered or tested to integrate substance abuse recognition in mainstream health care, including screening and brief interventions. All these approaches, however, have depended on the primary care provider doing something extra, new, and seemingly unconnected to any of the illnesses that are the major focus of the provider. During a planning period, a diverse group of experts led by the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) examined approaches based on the notion that unrecognized alcohol and drug use among patients with chronic illnesses produces adverse effects in a range of common chronic illnesses--thus alcohol and drug use engagement is a key factor in treating chronic illness. The purpose of this project is to test the feasibility and effectiveness of developing a large national project to build a cadre of health services and health outcome researchers who integrate alcohol and drug use and abuse into the study of mainstream health conditions. The two major, long-term outcomes expected if this approach is successful are: (1) health care providers will have evidence needed to improve their care of patients with chronic illnesses by addressing the effects of alcohol and drug use and abuse; and (2) federal research institutes will be stimulated to support such interdisciplinary research across many disease categories.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $200,000.00

Awarded on: 12/23/2003

Time frame: 1/1/2004 - 12/31/2005

Grant Number: 48237


Treatment Research Institute

600 Public Ledger Building
150 South Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, 19106-3475


A. Thomas McLellan
Project Director