Beginning ISAP's Second Decade
The UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) was established in 1999 to consolidate drug abuse research efforts and to improve treatment services, both domestically and internationally. After ISAP's first decade, the organization is in a good position to continue that process in what has become an increasingly unstable environment. The group continues to advance the knowledge base on drug problems and to improve the delivery of treatment services through diverse efforts. Examples of these efforts include:
- Continued leading development of medication and behavioral treatments through ISAP’s role as the Pacific Region Node of NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network (CTN; Ling) and the nationwide Methamphetamine Clinical Trials Group (Rawson).
- Increased international activities through a large contract with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Treatnet; Rawson) to provide training to regional centers around the world in evidence-based drug abuse treatment practices.
- Further established ISAP as a source for methodological expertise via the NIDA-funded Center for Advancing Longitudinal Drug Abuse Research (Hser).
- Increased research attention on special populations, including drug-abusing offenders (Hser and Prendergast, who is director of NIDA’s Pacific Coast Center for Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies), women (Grella), adolescents (Murphy), and gay, men-who-have-sex-with-men, and transgender populations (Reback).
- Continued documenting the activities of California's Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, which provides treatment to drug-abusing offenders in lieu of incarceration; each dollar spent on treatment garnered nearly $2.50 in cost offsets/savings and $4 in savings for those completing treatment (Urada, Hser).
- Broadened and strengthened collaboration with service providers to diffuse research-based interventions into practice in community-based settings.
- Confirmed the effectiveness of behavioral approaches (Matrix Model, cognitive behavioral therapy, and contingency management) in treating drug disorders, particularly methamphetamine dependence (Rawson), especially in establishing the effectiveness of bupropion for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.
- Continued to expand the imaging/neuroscience program investigating cognitive and neurobiological aspects of substance abuse (London), including NIDA funding for a P20 Center on addiction neurobiology.
- Increased formal training in NIH-funded research and clinical training programs via the Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center, as well as in trainings delivered around the nation and the world (Rawson, Ling, Freese).
We are confident that our future efforts will yield even more significant accomplishments than those of the first ten years as we become more adept at recognizing and addressing drug problems emerging in the nation and around the world. The problem of methamphetamine abuse is particularly challenging, and we are at the forefront of research and treatment development in this area. Dr. Ling's research on prescription opioid abuse and related practice improvement efforts are world renowned. ISAP will continue to advance the empirical understanding of substance abuse, develop and evaluate new approaches for the treatment of addiction, and support efforts to reduce substance use and related problems.