Division of Substance and Alcohol Abuse : Research


The primary focus of this research has been to pioneer the development of innovative treatment approaches for patients with “dual diagnosis” or psychiatric and addiction disorders, as treatment needs for this population have been largely unmet. Our effort included completing the first clinical trial ever conducted among patients with bipolar disorder and alcoholism, demonstrating the usefulness of the anticonvulsant, valproate, in decreasing alcohol use in persons suffering from bipolar disorder (See Anticonvulsant Drug Cuts Drinking in Bipolar Alcoholics read more about this). It also included conducting clinical trials for people suffering from co-occurring depression and alcoholism, and developing psychosocial interventions for persons suffering from bipolar disorders and alcoholism. This research program also conducted multiple studies on novel pharmacotherapy for alcoholism and for cocaine addiction without comorbid psychopathology.

Active Clinical Trials
Valproate Efficacy in Cocaine-Nipolar Comorbidity
Optimizing Pharmacotherapy for Bipolar Alcoholics
Phase II Study for Treatment of Cocaine Dependence
for more information on Active Clinical Trails, Please click here

Process Underlying Learning & Memory and Drug Addiction
Basic research related to drug addiction is focused on mechanisms involved in the development of addictive disorders such as the role of learning and memory and that of epigenetics. Investigation has also focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of memories produced by traumatic events leading to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their contribution to the development addictive disorders.

Laboratory for Neuropharmacology of Drug Abuse
Investigators in the laboratory study the effects of drugs of abuse on the brain and on behavior.
For more information click here.