Even as the first seven drug abuse treatment research protocols are being implemented in community treatment programs throughout NIDA's National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN), researchers and practitioners are continuing to propose additional research-based concepts for testing. Recently, the panel of independent experts who make up the CTN's Ad Hoc Oversight Board recommended the approval of the following five new treatment research concepts:
- The effect of buprenorphine/naloxone in treating adolescent heroin addicts;
- Smoking cessation treatment in drug abuse treatment programs;
- An aftercare procedure to reduce relapse following residential drug abuse treatment;
- A survey of obstacles to hepatitis C screening and evaluation in drug abuse treatment programs; and
- An assessment of whether and how the community treatment programs in the CTN are implementing new treatments that are shown to be effective.
More than one protocol is likely to be developed from each of these treatment research concepts. Varying the protocols serves to accommodate the different treatment approaches and settings used by the programs that will implement them. "We envision that eventually the CTN will have 10 to 15 protocols open for enrollment at all times," says Dr. Tai.