As part of an ongoing initiative to accelerate research findings into use by substance abuse treatment providers, NIDA hosted its Blending Initiative Conference in Atlanta on April 19, 2012, in conjunction with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 43rd Medical-Scientific Conference. Experts shared the latest clinical research with addiction treatment professionals, health care providers, and policymakers, suggesting practical applications for research findings in motivational interviewing; pharmacotherapy; screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs; HIV testing and interventions for use in clinical settings; and new approaches to pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders. Speakers included NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D.; A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., M.S., director of the Center for Substance Abuse Solutions; and Robert M. Califf, M.D., director of the Duke University Translational Medicine Institute.
Concurrent workshops were moderated by representatives from other U.S. agencies involved in substance abuse treatment and research, including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Health Resources and Services Administration. Two workshops focused on SBIRT, including a training session for primary care providers. Daniel P. Alford, M.D., M.P.H., Boston University, and Gail D’Onofrio, M.D., M.S., Yale University, discussed implementing SBIRT in primary care settings and emergency departments, while Dr. Alford and Julie Ann Vannerson, M.D., Indiana University, conducted the SBIRT training exercise. Motivational interviewing was also the topic for two workshops, both of which were presented by Richard Saitz, M.D., M.P.H., Boston University, and Christopher Dunn, Ph.D., University of Washington. New approaches to pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders was the topic addressed by Andrew J. Saxon, M.D., University of Washington, and Patrick G. O’Connor, M.D., M.P.H., Yale University. The final workshop, on HIV interventions, featured Todd P. Korthuis, M.D., M.P.H., Oregon Health & Science University, and Antoine Douaihy, M.D., University of Pittsburgh.