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Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment



Welcome Letters - John Rotrosen, MD

To our old and new friends,

Addiction is perhaps the most complex health problem facing American society today. Our understanding of addiction, our attitude towards it, and our resources to deal with it are shaped by and managed by virtually all aspects of our society and government. We all bring different expertise and different perspectives to the problem but share a common interest of reducing addictions-related pain to our families and burdens to our society.

Largely as a result of research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), our understanding of addiction has advanced dramatically. At the same time, through coordinated efforts with the media and entertainment industry to more realistically portray addiction's harsh realities, the public's perception of addiction has grown more sophisticated. And the recent recognition that illicit drug trading funds terrorist organizations adds a poignant imperative to the need to better address addiction.

The overall goal of our conference is to set the stage to expand access to treatment, extend the range of treatment approaches available and improve the quality of treatment in the community. To accomplish this we must bridge the gaps separating what we know from existing research and what we can do in the community. A year-and-a-half ago, Dr. Alan Leshner, then Director of NIDA, and I first discussed organizing a conference in New York. It was clear then that these gaps could not be bridged by way of an undirectional research to practice meeting. There was too much that the research community didn't know or understand about the treatment community, its policies, cultures and funding mechanisms for that to work. What was needed was a true partnership of equals -- much like what has developed in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) -- that would work in multiple directions to share scientific, programmatic and policy information toward achieving the conference goal. Dr. Glan Hanson, NIDA's Acting Director has expanded on this vision, and under his leadership NIDA has been extremely generous in supporting a very broadly based conference. We hope not only to improve treatment but also to improve research by making it more relevant to real world needs and opportunities.

It is fitting that NIDA's 2002 Blending Conference is centered in New York City. New York has long been a center for addictions research, treatment, training policy, and we've had more than our share of serious addiction problems that have impacted the quality of life for all New Yorkers. We planned to hold this conference in New York well before September 11th when the city was so badly wounded. We're gaining new insights into the effects of stress on addiction, and we're learning about how addicts and treatment programs cope in the wake of tragedy. New Yorkers are a resilient, diverse and open people. We're pleased to co-sponsor our conference and delighted that your visit will help with our recovery.

This welcome would be incomplete without special thanks to Patsy Novo at NYU, Jack Stein at NIDA, Glen Fischer at MAC and everyone else on our Planning Committee who made this possible.

On behalf of New York University's School of Medicine and the New York Node of the CTN it's my pleasure to welcome all of you.

John Rotrosen, MD
Professor
Principal Investigator, New York Node
National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network


What's New Contents


Blending Conference Bridge Logo

Sponsored by
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
Department of Health and Human Services

In partnership with
The New York CTN Node/New York University School of Medicine
The Long Island CTN Node/Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of NYS
Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC)
New York State Practice Improvement Collaborative (PIC)



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