Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships in the Rocky Mountain States to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment
2003 Meeting Overview:
The 2003 Blending Clinical Practice and Research Meeting was held September 8-9 in Westminster, Colorado, and was organized by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Rocky Mountain node of the Clinical Trials Network (CTN), together with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Colorado Department of Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, and the Signal Behavioral Health Network, Inc. In 2003, the Blending Initiative evolved into a partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to accelerate the dissemination of research-based treatment findings into community-based practice. The conference drew over 680 participants, consisting of drug abuse researchers, administrators and treatment providers wishing to examine cutting-edge scientific findings about drug use and addiction.
The conference format included a keynote address from Dr. Nora Volkow titled “Progress in Translating Drug Abuse Research into Clinical Practice” along with a plenary presentation by Dr. Thomas Crowley of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. During his address, Dr. Crowley drew on experiences from his 40-year career to discuss the relationship between research and practice. The Eileen Pencer Memorial Lecture was delivered by T. Ron Jackson, M.S.W. of Evergreen Treatment Services in Seattle, Washington. There were also twelve knowledge-building workshops facilitated by clinicians and researchers known nationally for their expertise in the areas of medication strategies, HIV/Hepatitis C, ethical practice, and more. Each workshop examined issues critical to the field of addiction treatment- research on craving and decision making, use of buprenorphine/naloxone combination tablets, psychiatric comorbidity, etc. To conclude the conference, Dr. Paula Riggs, Principal Investigator of the Rocky Mountain node offered closing remarks highlighting the hard work and dedication of the CTN in its efforts to blend drug abuse research and practice in an efficient and integrated way.