Strengthening Federal-State Partnerships to Enhance Adoption of Evidence-Based Practices

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Portland, Maine


United States

Meeting Summary

NIDA Organizer(s): Jack Stein and Beverly Pringle

Purpose & Intent

The purpose of the workshop was to increase involvement of state substance abuse agencies in services research. Participants included the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), State Substance Abuse Agencies, and the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD). The workshop was designed to build on previous discussions and the Blending Initiative1 to further strengthen the quality and pace of implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). An active partnership between federal and state agencies and community-based providers is essential for the longterm success of a science-to-services agenda. State agencies are poised to bring synergy, coherence, and accountability to the currently fragmented approaches to research dissemination, adoption, and implementation within their states and provider communities. NIDA and SAMHSA are committed to supporting (a) the conduct of research to help states and local providers select, implement, and sustain innovations to increase the accessibility, quality, and economy of treatment and prevention services; and (b) the delivery of evidence-based practices to those suffering from or at risk for developing problem drug use. 

Meeting Outcome

Timothy Condon, Ph.D., Deputy Director of NIDA, and Kenneth Stark, Director of Washington state's Division Alcohol and Substance Abuse, welcomed the workshop participants and gave opening remarks. Wilson Compton, M.D., Director of NIDA's Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research, and Betty Tai, Ph.D., Director of NIDA's Clinical Trials Network Program, presented an update on federal research findings and initiatives and outlined NIDA's current research priorities. Mr. Stark and Christina Dye, Chief of Arizona's Department of Health Services gave comments in response to the morning's session and encouraged NIDA and SAMHSA to (a) more clearly define the term evidence-based practices; (b) recognize the distinction between drug treatment and prevention interventions, upon which most federally funded research is focused, and drug treatment and prevention programs, which are of most utility and interest to State Agencies; and (c) to develop additional ways of examining the entire services delivery system through integration of research, policy, and practice.

Janet Wood, Director of the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Division in Colorado's Department of Human Services; Kenneth DeCerchio, Director for Substance Abuse in Florida's Department of Children & Families; and Gary Tester, Director of Ohio's Department of Alcohol & Drug Addiction Services gave presentations on the efforts underway in the their respective states to implement evidence-based practices. Karl White, Ed.D., CSAT project officer for the ATTC Network; John Hamilton; Thomas Freese, Ph.D., professor at UCLA and Co-PI/Director of the Pacific Southwest ATTC; and Dick Spence, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas and Blending Team Chair at the Gulf Coast ATTC, gave presentations on the various initiatives associated with the NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Teams.

During the afternoon session, Dennis McCarty, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University, led a lively discussion among all participants to address two questions: (a) How can NIDA and SAMHSA assist state directors in adopting and implementing evidence-based practices? and (b) What topics of research can NIDA support that would enhance state decision making on adoption of EBPs?

Expected Follow-up

NIDA plans to continue to partner with SAMHSA in hosting a workshop—to be held in conjunction with NASADAD's annual meeting—designed to help strengthen Federal-State partnerships to enhance adoption of evidence-based practices and to increase involvement of state substance abuse agencies in services research. 

Resulting Publications

No publications are planned or anticipated.

Participants List

Representatives from NIDA, SAMHSA, NASADAD, and Single State Agencies.

1 The interagency agreement called the NIDA/SAMHSA-ATTC Blending Initiative is designed to meld science and practice together to improve drug abuse and addiction treatment. This initiative encourages the use of current evidence-based treatment interventions by professionals in the drug abuse treatment field. "Blending Teams," comprised of staff from CSAT's Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network and NIDA researchers, are charged with the dissemination of research results for adoption and implementation into practice.