Teaching Points– Christine Grella Comments on “Addiction Research”

Chris Grella Brings the Nuance

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, psychologist Chris Grella presented a syllabus that lays out the institutional history (or histories) into which new researchers will intervene as they pursue their work– whether as bench scientists or as service providers.  Today, the rationale behind the class, and the nuances it hopes to add to work that will take place in a rapidly changing policy and funding environment.

This course is the introductory seminar for pre- and postdoctoral trainees in our  training program, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP).  The ISAP training program is focused on health services research to improve the quality of drug abuse treatment services, consistent with NIDA’s Services Research Branch. Our goal is to equip researchers with the skills needed to undertake research in the area of addiction health services, broadly defined to include: (1) organization and delivery of drug treatment services, including integration with mental health, primary care, and other health and social services; (2) workforce issues, organizational development, and implementation research; (3) economics and financing of drug treatment services; (4) criminal justice systems and interventions for offenders; (5) longitudinal drug use, treatment use, and recovery outcomes; and (6) treatment/services utilization among diverse groups, including women, racial/ethnic groups, impoverished/homeless individuals, youth and older adults, and individuals with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

We believe that our training program meets a critical need in addiction health services research, especially within the context of changes anticipated with the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as “health care reform.”

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