Training and Dissemination Projects

California Addiction Training and Education Series (CATES)
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Beth Rutkowski, M.P.H., Project Director

CATES is a series of one-day trainings (launched in March 2004) designed to provide in-depth information to individuals working with substance-using populations. The information provided is based on sound science but presented in such a way that it is directly useful when working with these clients. CATES trainings cover two topics per year. Each topic is presented in at least three locations across California. The target audience for CATES is substance abuse and mental health treatment providers, administrators, and other professionals (e.g., researchers, psychologists, educators, law enforcement personnel, nurses, and physicians) interested in the latest information on the impact of substance abuse and effective interventions and treatments. An expanded version of CATES, which now includes three-six months of follow-up, coaching conference calls and Webinars, was initiated in the spring of 2007. The purpose of this follow-up is to provide CATES training participants with opportunities for ongoing learning, technical assistance, and skill development. A total of 25 CATES training sessions have been conducted since the series’ inception, and have involved several thousand California-based treatment practitioners. Topics covered to date in the CATES series include methamphetamine treatment; Motivational Interviewing and Contingency Management; improving client engagement and retention in treatment; and PTSD and substance abuse, with a focus on returning military members, Veterans, and their families. In fall 2010, CATES will focus on addiction treatment under healthcare reform. (Additional information is available at

CATES was funded in part by the State of California, Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Contract 09-00132 (September 2007 through September 2010).

Substance Abuse Research Consortium State Contract
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Beth Rutkowski, M.P.H., Project Director

The Substance Abuse Research Consortium (SARC) meetings offer an opportunity for professionals from a variety of disciplines to exchange current information on California substance abuse trends, promising prevention and treatment strategies, criminal justice and social service partnerships, and other substance abuse-related topics. The target audiences for these meetings include substance abuse researchers, treatment providers, administrators, policymakers, and other individuals interested in substance abuse research- and policy-related issues. Recent meetings have been conducted on May 30, 2008 (Los Angeles, CA) and September 22-23, 2008 (Sacramento, CA) on cultural considerations for substance abuse research;  September 10, 2009 (Burbank, CA) and September 21, 2009 (Sacramento, CA) on improving addiction treatment in California: guidelines for treatment and evidence-based practices; and May 24, 2010 (Sacramento, CA) on implementation of evidence-based practices in the treatment of criminal justice-involved clients. Additionally, the SARC contract has funded a total of five special theme issues of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Each of these issues contained articles written by SARC meeting presenters based on the information that they presented. A sixth special issue is currently underway, which is based on the 2009 SARC meeting series and is scheduled for publication in September 2010. Additional products produced under the SARC contract include white papers on a variety of topics, including Methamphetamine in the Workplace, Prescription Drug Abuse, and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), and a clinical toolkit on methamphetamine for clinicians. Additional information is available at

SARC State Contract was funded by the State of California, Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Contract 09-00132 (September 2007 through September 2010).

Adopting Changes in Addiction Treatment –
California Regional NIATx/ACTION Campaign Learning Collaboratives
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D. Co-Investigator
Beth A. Rutkowski, M.P.H., Project Director (

Adopting Changes in Addiction Treatment was a one-year project funded by the California Endowment and sponsored by the Pacific Southwest ATTC, the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators’ Association of California, and the NIATx National Program Office. The overarching goal of this one-year project was to collaborate with substance use disorders (SUD) treatment and recovery agencies across California to build their capacity to identify issues with and improve administrative processes. The project sought to enhance ongoing ACTION Campaign recruitment efforts in California and provide for more intensive support through the establishment of five regional learning collaboratives (Southern California, Northern California, Capitol Region, Bay Area, and Central Valley).

Through the regional learning collaboratives, interested treatment providers in participating counties were given a forum to share their experiences, progress, successes, and frustrations with implementing NIATx process improvement strategies. The learning collaboratives were given two opportunities to meet face-to-face during the project year, as well as participate in monthly conference calls to discuss ongoing progress made with regards to access and retention efforts. While the primary intention of the collaborative conference calls was to provide an opportunity for participants to share with one another, periodic presentations were made by experts or peer mentors who had substantial prior experience using NIATx process improvement methods. In total, 173 agencies/programs from 49 counties participated in one of the five learning collaboratives.

 Adopting Changes in Addiction Treatment was funded by the California Endowment, file number 20081075, from November 2008 to October 2009.

Integrated Services for Co-Occurring Mental Health and
Substance Abuse Disorders for Children (0–15)
Thomas Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Richard Rawson, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Sherry Larkins, Ph.D., Project Director

The ISAP training department was contracted by the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Mental Health (DMH) to provide skills-based trainings and supervision on co-occurring disorders to DMH staff of children’s agencies. In 2008, ISAP provided interactive and didactic trainings throughout LAC, along with targeted ongoing coaching and mentoring to help staff acquire new skills for treating clients with co-occurring disorders (COD). ISAP collaborated with three community-based organizations with expertise in both integrated treatment and training of providers to design a new training curriculum based on an integrated model of intervention for co-occurring substance and mental health disorders for children ages 0-15 and their caregivers. The training was designed to increase skills and improve the effectiveness of DMH staff in caring for this hard-to-treat population. The curriculum was split into two training modules. The first included an overview of the integrated approach to treating COD and information on developmentally appropriate screening and assessment of children and their caregivers. The second module focused on the issue of trauma as it relates to treating children and their caregivers who have co-occurring disorders. Each training module was offered multiple times in several regions throughout the county to ensure that the training program was accessible to as many DMH staff and with as few barriers to participation as possible.

Integrated Services for Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders for Children (0–15) was funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Contract (November 2007 to December 2009).

Thomas Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (

METH INSIDE OUT is a groundbreaking video-based treatment curriculum on methamphetamine addiction and recovery. The series is designed to equip meth users, their families and the professionals who assist them with a solid understanding of the neurological basis of addiction, effective tools for recovery, and, most importantly, hope for the future. Presented by UCLA, the world leaders in methamphetamine research, and Eyes of the World Media Group, this research-based series presents the most up-to-date information in a compelling and easy-to-understand format. METH INSIDE OUT emphasizes the human impact of addiction by sharing personal stories of users and their families. Shot in high definition with state-of-the-art graphics, the series goes beyond presenting information by engaging and inspiring viewers. Created for maximum flexibility, the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of treatment centers, jails/prisons, community centers, social service agencies and universities. The series is comprised of five episodes, which can be used individually or as a set. Companion Leader’s Guides allow counselors to maximize the educational potential of each episode. After an initial overview episode (The Human Impact), two subsequent episodes focus on the brain and behavior (Brain & Behavior), and treatment (Windows to Recovery).

Methamphetamine Video Series was funded by the State of California Alcohol and Drug Programs, Contract 06-00169 (June 2007 to June 2009).

Screening and Brief Interventions for Trauma Centers and
Other Emergency Departments in California
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Jerry Cartier, M.A., & Beth A. Rutkowski, M.P.H.,,
Project Directors

Through the statewide SBIRT trauma training series, UCLA ISAP provided a series of one-day training workshops for staff from trauma centers, emergency departments, and primary health care settings. Participants included physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers and marriage and family therapists, health educators, nurse aides, and substance use disorders treatment counselors. The core clinical components of the training included: screening techniques to identify substance-related problems; brief intervention to raise awareness of risk and motivate change; brief treatment for patients seeking help; and referral to treatment for patients with more serious addictions. At the conclusion of the training, participants would be able to: (1) describe the background and rationale for conducting SBIRT in medical settings; (2) utilize screening procedures for identifying patients engaged in at-risk substance use behaviors; and (3) utilize brief intervention strategies and techniques to motivate patients to change their at-risk behavior and/or seek treatment. In total, 17 trainings were conducted in 12 counties with 842 participants.

Screening and Brief Interventions for Trauma Centers and Other Emergency Departments in California was funded by the State of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, contract 08-00133, from September 2008 to March 2010.

UCLA Pre and Postdoctoral Training Program 
Christine E. Grella Ph.D., Principal Investigator (

The UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) offers training to predoctoral and postdoctoral Ph.D. and M.D. fellows. The two-year research training program combines a core research methodology curriculum with hands-on training opportunities in an extraordinarily diverse group of research and clinical settings. Training is organized to address core issues and methodology within a health services research context. Specific training areas:

  • clinical trials (pharmacotherapy and behavioral)
  • treatment effectiveness and outcomes
  • organizational development and service delivery system evaluation
  • longitudinal research methodologies and statistical modeling
  • drug use and HIV
  • interventions for substance-abusing offenders, both in prison & community
  • special populations, e.g., women, individuals with co-occurring disorders, adolescents
  • drug use and social policy
  • research-to-practice and technology transfer     

 The ISAP training program is intended to provide trainees with exposure to a broad variety of drug abuse research personnel and settings and the opportunity to select an area of focus for research that is supported by faculty mentoring. The program provides access to varied research environments; training in diverse research methods, both qualitative and quantitative; strong training in statistical applications, including longitudinal modeling; and access to leading researchers in the substance abuse treatment and related areas at UCLA and the surrounding community.  The Training Program funds fellowships for two predoctoral and three postdoctoral trainees each year.

UCLA Drug Abuse Research Training Center was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 2 T32 DA07272 (September 1991 through June 2012).

Summer 2009 Internship with UCLA CALDAR
Yih-Ing Hser, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Elizabeth Evans, M.A., Project Director

Designed for high school and undergraduate students, the NIDA Summer Research Internship with UCLA CALDAR will provide an intellectually stimulating environment for investigating drug use behavior as it relates to socioeconomic and attitudinal factors as well as how drug use behavioral patterns may be influenced by critical events that occur over the life course. 

Opportunities for educational enrichment and mentorship will be provided.  Students will be able to participate in or observe on-going projects.  Students will be introduced to basic concepts of data collection and analysis for the behavioral sciences, assist with manuscript preparation and library research, be exposed to the drug abuse research literature, and provide general research support.  The program will also be a forum for youth to connect with leading experts from multiple disciplines to explore educational and career opportunities in the behavioral sciences.  Students should be available to participate in the program for 10 weeks.

Summer 2009 Internship with UCLA CALDAR was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 5 P30 DA016383-05S, from June 2009 to August 2009.

2007-2008 NIDA INVEST Research Fellowship for Dr. Chen Hanhui
Walter Ling, M.D., Principal Investigator (

Dr. Chen was awarded a Research Fellowship by the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network for 2008-2009. As a psychiatrist at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, Dr. Chen came to work and train under the guidance of Dr. Walter Ling at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. With an interest in clinical trials, Dr. Chen was provided with extensive opportunities to observe clinic practice, specifically in projects providing buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence. Additional training opportunities included visits to local treatment programs such as the Matrix Institute and the Betty Ford Clinic for observation and education. Dr. Chen attended workshops sponsored by NIDA as an international scholar, and also presented results of his recent treatment research examining the use of CBT in compulsory treatment programs in China. As a final project, Dr. Chen analyzed data from a recently completed CTN study conducted by the sponsoring site to address questions of craving and withdrawal during treatment.  

2007-2008 NIDA INVEST Research Fellowship for Dr. Hanhui Chen was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 20083143, from October 2008 to September 2009.

2009-2010 NIDA INVEST Research Fellowship for Dr. Suzanne Nielsen
Walter Ling, M.D., Principal Investigator (

This grant is provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network (CTN) to provide training in drug abuse and to foster collaboration between the grantee with established investigators at the sponsoring site. Dr. Nielsen’s goals are to attain expertise in clinical trials research and learn sophisticated research methodologies. Her research plan has a two-track approach. First, throughout the fellowship period at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP), she will participate with Dr. Ling and other physicians and clinical personnel in the conduct of clinical trials of addiction treatments, and will attend pertinent seminars, presentations, and formal courses. Second, to accomplish the objective of applying acquired knowledge to research methodologies, she will conduct a project of secondary analysis of existing CTN data pertinent to future research to be conducted in Australia when she returns after the fellowship. Dr. Nielsen proposes to study variations in outcomes—in terms of drug use and HIV-related risk behaviors— of buprenorphine-based treatment for opioid dependence according to differences in primary drug problem (i.e., prescription opioid versus heroin) and as they differ by gender. As part of this training, she will collaborate on the preparation of a manuscript of study findings to be submitted for publication. 

2009-2010 NIDA INVEST Research Fellowship for Dr. Suzanne Nielsen was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant number 20101668, from June 2010 to May 2011.

The Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (
Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., Co-Investigator (
Thomas E. Freese, Ph.D., & Michael S. Shafer, Ph.D., Project Directors
Beth Rutkowski, M.P.H., Associate Director of Training

The Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (Pacific Southwest ATTC) provides training, acquires and shares information, and promotes incorporation of empirically based substance abuse treatment practices. In order to help community service providers to efficiently produce optimum outcomes, the main work of the Pacific Southwest ATTC is to disseminate knowledge about state-of-the-art treatment practices and their delivery. Drawing on research conducted by UCLA ISAP, a major focus of Pacific Southwest ATTC work has been to educate providers about the impact of methamphetamine (MA) use and effective treatment strategies for MA-dependent individuals. Additional key topics include: screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders,  NIATx process improvement strategies to increase access to and engagement and retention in treatment, and medication-assisted treatment for opioid and alcohol-dependent clients (specifically methadone and buprenorphine). The Pacific Southwest ATTC works to promote changes in attitudes across all involved settings in the Pacific Southwest (including academic and government agencies, as well as among clinicians involved in treating substance abusers) regarding the status of the field, the need to increase cultural competence among substance abuse professionals, the need for greater interaction among stakeholders, and the need for more training for substance abuse professionals. The Pacific Southwest ATTC, led by ISAP in partnership with faculty from Arizona State University (ASU), provides an exemplary resource and an extraordinary array of expertise and experience in training, evaluation, and distance learning techniques for substance abuse professionals. The combination of the ISAP and ASU groups, along with key stakeholders, consultants, and community organization partners in Arizona and California, creates an extraordinary resource to meet the extensive and rapidly evolving training and technology transfer needs of the field.
(Additional information is available at:

The Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center was funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Grant 5 UD1 TI013594 (March 2002 through September 2012).

Last Updated:  11/16/2011

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