Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW


“We need to increase the reach of addiction treatment within health care systems. Many more people could benefit from effective care.”

Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

Associate Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Joe Glass, PhD, MSW, is an associate investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI). Before joining KPWHRI in July 2016, he was an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Social Work.

Dr. Glass’ research seeks to understand how effective health care interventions for unhealthy alcohol and drug use can reach more people. His research seeks to answer these questions:

  • Why do so few people receive help for their unhealthy drinking and drug use?
  • How can we change this?
  • How can health systems make better use of effective treatments?
  • In what ways could our current treatments for addiction be improved?
  • Is care for unhealthy alcohol use delivered equitably?

Much of Dr. Glass’ recent work, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Kaiser Permanente, is studying approaches for routinely using smartphone and web-based treatments for unhealthy alcohol and drug use in health care. After receiving an MSW from the University of Michigan, Dr. Glass spent three years as a social worker at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. As a licensed clinical social worker in a large mental health clinic, he developed expertise in social work case management and evidence-based treatments for anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. Much of his research is driven by his clinical experiences, considering the many people struggling with both mental health difficulties and unhealthy substance use who have yet to receive addiction treatment. 

Dr. Glass is an affiliate assistant professor of health services and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, at the University of Washington.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Glass JE, Perron BE, Straussner SL. Introduction to the special issue [special issue: addiction-related issues among active duty military, veterans and their families]. J Soc Work Pract Addict. 12(1): 1-5.

Perron BE, Ahmedani BK, Vaughn MG, Glass JE, Abdon A, Wu LT. Use of Salvia divinorum among a nationally representative sample. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2012 Jan;38(1):108-13. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2011.600397. Epub 2011 Aug 11. PubMed

Glass JE, Bucholz KK. Concordance between self-reports and archival records of physician visits: a case-control study comparing individuals with and without alcohol use disorders in the community. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Jul 1;116(1-3):57-63. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.11.021. Epub 2011 Jan 14. PubMed

Pfeiffer PN, Glass J, Austin K, Valenstein M, McCarthy JF, Zivin K. Impact of distance and facility of initial diagnosis on depression treatment. Health Serv Res. 2011 Jun;46(3):768-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01228.x. Epub 2011 Jan 6. PubMed

Perron BE, Glass JE, Ahmedani BK, Vaughn MG, Roberts DE, Wu LT. The prevalence and clinical significance of inhalant withdrawal symptoms among a national sample. Subst Abuse Rehabil. 2011 Apr;2011(2):69-76. PubMed




Increasing opioid use disorder treatment in primary care

A trial led by KPWHRI researchers found that adding nurse care managers helped more people get needed treatment.

Healthy Findings Blog


Understanding the needs of people seeking care for substance use

Joe Glass explores how to engage patients with treatment for alcohol or drug use.



Better care for patients who drink alcohol

A new primary care approach improves alcohol-related preventive care as well as care for alcohol use disorder.