A Center Fights the Battle Against Addiction

From 1992 to 2002 staff at Columbia University, New York established and sustained the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).

The goal was to enable CASA to become a significant national resource for addressing substance abuse problems and to serve as an influential catalyst in helping this country reduce the harm caused by substance abuse.

Key Results

  • Between May 1992 and April 2002, CASA:

    • Mounted demonstration programs at 60 sites in 21 states.
    • Tested the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment at 295 sites in 22 states.
    • Issued more than 40 reports and white papers addressing various aspects of the substance abuse problem.
    • Initiated an ongoing series of conferences to highlight the connection between substance abuse and other problems.
    • Widely disseminated the results of its research. Examples of CASA research findings include:
      • An individual who gets through age 21 without using illegal drugs, abusing alcohol, or smoking cigarettes is virtually certain never to do so.
      • Religion and spirituality have enormous potential to lower the risk of substance abuse among teens and adults and, when combined with professional treatment, to promote recovery.
    • CASA's research has provided information that has contributed to national and local substance abuse policies.
      • Evidence includes President George W. Bush's citation of the importance of CASA's work when he enacted the Drug-Free Communities Act into law in December 2001; and President Bill Clinton's citation of CASA survey findings in his 1997 announcement of a significant shift in national drug strategy.