CASA Announces Study on Substance Abuse Treatment Effectiveness

Article excerpt

The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University announced in late November that the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is funding an extensive national assessment of substance abuse treatment programs. The study will be conducted by CASA and will involve some 200 treatment programs and about 2,000 patients over a two-year period.

The CASA study will track individuals when they start treatment and again at intervals of three and twelve months after entering a substance abuse program.

"It is essential to understand which treatment programs work for whom and under what circumstances, to look at age, gender, employment and ethnic and racial backgrounds of the patients," said Joseph Califano, Jr., CASA's president.

Califano believes that this study, "is a necessary step in finding out how to make treatment more effective and the key to targeting our health-care dollars more efficiently, whether from public funds or private insurers."

Califano singled out ONDCP director Dr. Lee Brown for his leadership in the fight against substance abuse and addiction. "We greatly appreciate Dr. Brown's bold and effective leadership in combatting substance abuse and searching for more effective substance abuse treatment," Califano said.

The Study's Research Goals

The study, with a budget of more than $3 million, will be conducted under the leadership of Herbert Kleber, M.D., CASA's executive vice president and medical director. …