The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) provides an enterprise in which the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment researchers, and community-based service providers cooperatively develop, validate, refine, and deliver new treatment options to patients in Community Treatment Programs (CTPs). This unique partnership between CTPs and academic research leaders aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Conducting studies of behavioral, pharmacological, and integrated behavioral and pharmacological treatment interventions of therapeutic effect in rigorous, multisite clinical trials to determine effectiveness across a broad range of community-based treatment settings and diversified patient populations; and
- Ensuring the transfer of research results to physicians, clinicians, providers, and patients.
Over the past several years, research programs within the NIDA have produced dramatic advances in understanding drug abuse and addiction. This has led to the development of an array of new treatments and therapies to help patients with drug abuse problems. However, the efficacy of new treatments for drug addiction has been demonstrated primarily in specialized research settings, with somewhat restricted patient populations. In order to fulfill their promise, advances achieved in drug abuse research centers must reach patients in the community-based settings where most treatment is provided. To enhance the delivery of scientifically based treatments to drug abuse patients, NIDA has established the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN).
CTN as a Platform
The CTN, with its core of CTPs engaging diverse populations, is also designed to provide a platform for other studies, which would be funded under separate research grants. Three important ways to use the CTN are: to conduct ancillary studies in connection with CTN protocols; to utilize CTN Node facilities as a platform for investigations; and for Nodes to serve as home bases for NIH Training Centers and individual researchers who have NIH fellowships or career development awards.