Substance Use Disorders

Our Mission is to build and test efficient effective ED-based screening
for substance use disorders and interventions to reduce harm associated
with risky substance use. Using the resources and referral of our three main clinical sites, we conduct clinical trials and other outcome-oriented research in the areas of alcohol and drug use that will rapidly lead to evidence-based change in clinical practice. The focus on using health information technology (HIT) and mobile health solutions, such as computer-assisted screening and text-message based interventions, recognizes the critical importance of providing preventive services in the context of already over-burdened staff.  Specifically, we focus on young adults, who are disproportionately affected by risky substance use and are amenable to interventions to alter future health risk. Investigators will conduct collaborative trials of variable size and duration, leveraging collaboration with the departments of Psychiatry and Academic Computing to build better systems of care.

Upcoming Studies

Mobile phone text message (TM) intervention to reduce risky drinking in young adults.

This proposed study will compare a 12-week TM intervention using weekly feedback with goal-setting following a brief, negotiated interview to weekly TM drinking assessments following an ED-based brief negotiated interview to a 12-week TM intervention alone.

Mobile phone text message (TM) intervention to reduce marijuana use in young adults.

This proposed study will compare a 12-week TM intervention using weekly feedback with goal-setting to weekly TM drinking assessments.

Identifying prescription opioid use disorders in patients provided with a prescription for short-course opiates in emergency care.

This proposed study will identify the prevalence and characteristics of prescription drug use disorder (PDD) in patients being discharged from the ED with prescription opiates and correlates with physician suspicion.

Completed Studies

Mobile phone text message (TM) intervention to reduce risky drinking in young adults.

This pilot study (funded by the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) and Century Council) compared a 12-week TM intervention using weekly feedback with goal-setting to weekly TM drinking assessments to a control group.  We found that 47% of young adults who present to the ED screen positive for risky drinking, that we can collect a high rate (90%) post-discharge drinking data using an automated TM program over a 12-week period, and that exposure to weekly feedback with goal-setting results in immediate (3-month) reduction in binge episodes and drinks per drinking day.