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National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network - Pacific Northwest Node

Principal Investigator:
Dennis M. Donovan, PhD
Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute ; Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Date: January 10, 2001 to May 31, 2020
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (U10DA013714)
Categories: Clinical and Health Services | CTN (NIDA Clinical Trials Network)

Other Investigators: Co-Principal Investigator: John Roll, PhD. Associate Dean for Research and Professor, School of Nursing, Washington State University.; Elizabeth Wells, PhD; T. Ronald Jackson, MSW; Andrew J. Saxon, MD; John Baer, PhD; Donald A. Calsyn, PhD (deceased); Sharon Garrett, MPH, MA; Brenda Stuvek; Mary Hatch-Maillette, PhD; Lisa Rey Thomas, PhD

Description: Drug dependence continues to be a persistent problem for which new treatments, both behavioral and pharmacological, are continually being developed. There is a great need to develop mechanisms by which such treatments, once shown to be efficacious, can be put into widespread clinical practice in community-based treatment programs where the largest number of drug abusers are seen. A number of barriers between researchers and clinicians, however, have made such a transition difficult, if at all possible. The recent Institute of Medicine report has challenged us to work on "bridging the gap," to address the barriers to facilitate a more functional working relationship between treatment providers and clinical researchers, who share a common goal of wanting to improve substance abuse treatment and its outcomes. NIDA has developed an action agenda to stimulate treatment providers and researchers to consider ways, from each of their perspectives, to narrow or bridge the "gap." NIDA's action agenda is the development of the National Clinical Trials Network (CTN), in which researchers at Regional Research and Training Centers work in partnership with Community-based Treatment Programs both to develop areas of mutual interest for future clinical research and to test promising therapies in community settings.

In January 2001, the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute received a five-year grant from NIDA to join the CTN as the Pacific Northwest Node, one of seventeen state and regional nodes throughout the country. ADAI and UW researchers from many departments comprise the node's Regional Research and Training Center which has as its primary focus the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral and pharmacological therapies for drug abuse, targeted at treatment as delivered in community settings. As part of the larger Clinical Trials Network, the Pacific Northwest Node conducts behavioral and pharmacological research studies as a means of informing policy, therapy development, and the evaluation process, with a goal of contributing meaningfully to improved effectiveness of new and promising therapies. Investigators at the UW have a long history of working with community programs in research and program evaluation, collaborating on multi-site clinical trials, developing and evaluating both pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy, conducting services research, and translating and disseminating results into information useful for clinicians and policy makers.

Expansion: In 2007, the PN Node was awarded an additional three years of funding, and expanded to include a treatment center in Sitka, Alaska, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, as well as the Addiction Treatment Center at the VA Puget Sound and American Lake hospitals in Washington. A subsequent renewal (continuing our funding through August 2014), we expanded our collaborative network through a partnership with Dr. John Roll, Associated Dean for Research and Professor in the School of Nursing at Washington State University, Spokane. Drs. Donovan and Roll now serve as Multiple PIs for the Pacific Northwest Node. This expansion leverages the resources of ADAI and the existing PNW Node Regional Research and Training Center at UW with those of the Program of Excellence in Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment (RMHSAT) and the Program of Excellence in the Addiction, both of which are directed by Dr. Roll at WSU. This partnership also provides the opportunity to expand the scope of the Node to include increased attention to the issues of substance abuse in rural settings.

Community-Based Treatment Programs: We currently have 15 collaborating community-based treatment and health care programs affiliated with the PNW Node

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute also serves as the National CTN Dissemination Library for the Clinical Trials Network ( It is a digital repository of resources created by and about NIDA's National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). It provides CTN members and the public with a single point of access to research findings and other materials that are approved for dissemination throughout the CTN and to the larger community of providers, researchers and policy-makers. The CTN Library is described more fully later in this report in the section entitled Dissemination of Research Findings.

The Pacific NW Node has participated in 20 CTN protocols or ancillary studies since joining the CTN in 2001, collaborating with community treatment programs in Washington and other CTN Nodes. For more information about the Washington Node, including a list of the staff and active protocols, visit the CTN PN Node website.

Related Web Sites:
PNW Node website
CTN Dissemination Library