Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for Studies of Addiction

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Addiction Treatment and Medication Development Division

The Addiction Treatment and Medication Development Division (ATMDD), formerly the Treatment Research Division, is an outpatient addiction treatment and research facility. It is funded by federal grants and pharmaceutical contracts and staffed by scientists, clinicians, and research staff. The treatments provided at the ATMDD include psychotherapeutic approaches and medications for detoxification, craving reduction, and relapse prevention. The primary design in each of the treatment research protocols of investigative medications includes a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial coupled with a psychotherapeutic intervention that typically spans from 2 to 6 months of treatment.

ATMDD investigators evaluate the effectiveness of new approaches to treating addictions - namely, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and opiate dependence. The ATMDD uses a multidisciplinary approach to address patients’ biopsychosocial needs. Central to this effort is an evaluation of the physiological and subjective patient responses to treatment, as well the development of biological and genetically based models for studying addiction.

The Division conducts approximately 10-15 protocols at any given time. For calendar year 2011, the ATMDD staff provided information to 3,111 individuals, usually over the telephone. 907 patients were screened at the Center, and 315 patients participated in a treatment study, resulting in approximately 8,793 patient visits (see Addiction Treatment and Medication Development Division clinical trials). There are several major core functions that are essential in providing the infrastructure in the Division, without which the clinical trials could not be supported. These functions are: outpatient detoxification, subject recruitment, intake (phone screen, medical exam, psychosocial interview), pharmacy/lab (including urine drug screens), psychosocial treatment, supervision and monitoring, data management/analyses (including computer support), and local administrative support (budget, staffing, secretarial, IRB documentation).

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