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Conceived in 2008, the Institute of Addiction Medicine was formed to address an important need in addiction treatment, namely to bring evidence-based treatments into clinical practice.
The Institute seeks to enhance the understanding and treatment of alcohol addiction and addiction to other substances and maladaptive behaviors such as overeating and gambling addiction.
The Institute is dedicated to finding novel evidence-based treatments through clinical research and the dissemination of this research through scientific publications and conferences.
The Institute facilitates the establishment of clinical treatment programs consistent with evidence-based treatments.
The Institute develops clinical training programs to teach health care providers how to deliver evidence-based treatments.
The Institute sponsors expert panels to review clinical research and make recommendations for best practices.
The Institute offers training and research opportunities to train the next generation of future scientists and clinicians.
The purpose and goals of the Institute are (i) to promote the use of evidence-based addiction treatments through research activities, seminars, conferences, and web based education activities, (ii) to facilitate the developments of programs that use evidence-based treatments through the use of clinical protocols, clinical training and clinical supervision programs, and (iii) to stimulate the research and teaching of evidence-based treatments through lectures, seminars, scholarships, and special recognition for those individuals who contribute to the understanding of addiction medicine.
The Institute seeks to fulfill its research mission primarily with studies to facilitate translating research into clinical practice. This includes studies designed to assess clinician and general public attitudes toward addictions, identifying the most cost-effective addiction treatment options for a particular patient (treatment matching), and developing new evidence-based treatments. One area of particular interest is the use of integrated electronic medical records with a program that helps direct the clinician to make the best evidence-based clinical decisions. The electronic medical record can aid the clinician in obtaining clinically relevant data and then organize this data with imported records from other clinicians and laboratories. This "smart" electronic medical record can 1) make recommendations on how the clinician reduce the risk of adverse outcomes, 2) organize and track various forms of clinical data, and 3) adapt algorithms for specific individuals based on clinical outcome data.
The teaching and training mission includes programs designed to help educate physicians (particularly primary care physicians), nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other healthcare professionals.
The Institute will also prepare training programs with certification in specific medical and psychosocial interventions. For example a program involving didactic video and reading materials coupled with clinical supervision has been used successfully to train health care providers in the BRENDA approach.
In addition to training clinicians, the Institute will help inform the general public and policy makers about evidence-based addiction treatment. This will be accomplished by preparing expert based reports and summaries of scientific findings. Existing treatment programs will be evaluated by experts as well as consumers (a "consumer reports" for addiction treatment programs).