Addictions Research

"Many people have questions or concerns about alcohol and other drug use—and don’t know where to turn. Health systems have historically ignored alcohol and drug use; we are changing that.”

Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH
Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine

Research overview

Kaiser Permanente Washington researchers are exploring how to improve prevention and treatment of health issues due to alcohol and other drug use. The addictions research group conducts innovative research to help patients and their providers prevent and treat problems caused by tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and other drugs in health settings.

A major focus of the addictions research group is how to integrate patient-centered care for alcohol and other drug use into medical settings. Over the past three decades, their work has focused on the need for health systems to routinely measure and address alcohol and other drug use as part of whole-person health, in nonjudgmental, patient-centered ways.

"Our alcohol-related research has built tools—such as a brief video, handout, and a patient decision aid—that help overcome stigma so that patients and families can find the help they want and need," says Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) and internal medicine physician with Washington Permanente Medical Group.

Research overview

The addictions research group is conducting a variety of studies. "We are working to find ways to easily document the extent of cannabis exposure for both medical and nonmedical use in electronic health records," says Gwen Lapham, PhD, MSW, a KPWHRI assistant investigator. "We are also testing how to get proven online treatments for addiction into the hands of patients who could benefit," says Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW, a KPWHRI associate investigator. These are among the group’s current studies:

  • PRimary Care Opioid Use Disorders (PROUD) is an implementation trial testing collaborative care for opioid use disorders.
  • Digital Treatments for Substance Use Disorder (DIGITS) is a trial of strategies to implement online substance use disorder treatments into primary care.
  • The Medical Cannabis study uses electronic health record (EHR) and survey data to study patterns of medical cannabis use among primary care patients.
  • Medication Use, Safety, and Evidence (MUSE) is a multisite observational study on the incidence of and risk factors for opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction.
  • Dr. Glass has an early-career award to study the effectiveness of treatments for alcohol use disorders in primary care.
  • As a K12 CATALyST Learning Health Systems scholar, Dr. Lapham is partnering with Kaiser Permanente Washington Mental Health and Wellness leaders to integrate evidence-based care for substance use into adolescent primary care.
  • Dr. Bradley’s mid-career award supports research innovation and mentoring early-career addictions researchers.

"We partnered with mental health and primary care leaders at Kaiser Permanente Washington to implement a program that addresses addictions and other common mental health concerns as part of routine primary care," says Amy K. Lee, MPH, a KPWHRI research associate. These are among the studies that the addictions research group has completed:

  • In collaboration with Emily Williams, PhD, MPH, a KPWHRI affiliate investigator at Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, they found that patients with unhealthy alcohol use who had HIV were less likely to receive evidence-based alcohol-related care than those without HIV.
  • The Choosing Healthier Drinking Options in Primary Care (CHOICE) trial found that, with nurse care management, collaborative care for patients with high-risk drinking raised their engagement in alcohol-related care—but did not decrease heavy drinking or related problems. But usual care may have had benefits for patients without high-risk drinking.
  • The Options study developed a patient-centered decision aid for thinking about drinking and learning about options for making changes in drinking.
  • Integrated Mental Health was implemented and evaluated in Kaiser Permanente Washington.
  • The Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-related Care (SPARC) trial found that implementing integrated mental health in primary care improved sustained implementation of evidence-based alcohol-related care.
  • The impact of poverty on alcohol use was stronger among black people—men and women alike—than in people in other racial/ethnic groups.

 

Recent Publications on Addictions Research

Frost MC, Glass JE, Bradley KA, Williams EC. Documented brief intervention associated with reduced linkage to specialty addictions treatment in a national sample of VA patients with unhealthy alcohol use with and without alcohol use disorders. Addiction. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1111/add.14836. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Steel TL, Malte CA, Bradley KA, Lokhandwala S, Hough CL, Hawkins EJ. Prevalence and variation of clinically recognized inpatient alcohol withdrawal syndrome in the Veterans Health Administration. J Addict Med. 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000576. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Gruß I, Firemark A, Mayhew M, McMullen CK, DeBar LL. Taking opioids in times of crisis: institutional oversight, chronic pain and suffering in an integrated healthcare delivery system in the U.S. Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Sep 16;74:62-68. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.08.009. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Parchman ML, Penfold RB, Ike B, Tauben D, Von Korff M, Stephens M, Stephens KA, Baldwin LM. Team-based clinic redesign of opioid medication management in primary care: effect on opioid prescribing. Ann Fam Med. 2019;17(4):319-325. doi: 10.1370/afm.2390. PubMed

Richards JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Lapham GT, Williams EC, Glass JE, Ludman EJ, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Oliver M, Bradley KA. Integration of screening, assessment, and treatment for cannabis and other drug use disorders in primary care: an evaluation in three pilot sites. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Jun 8;201:134-141. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.04.015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Addictions Research

Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2190
Jennifer.F.Bobb@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Denise M. Boudreau, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2067
Denise.M.Boudreau@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2151
Katharine.A.Bradley@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

David S. Carrell, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2705
David.S.Carrell@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Lynn DeBar, PhD

Senior Investigator
(206) 287-2942
Lynn.Debar@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

Associate Investigator
206-287-4266
Joseph.E.Glass@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Clarissa Hsu, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-4276
Clarissa.W.Hsu@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH, MSW

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2021
Gwen.T.Lapham@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Amy K. Lee, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2827
Amy.K.Lee@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer B. McClure, PhD

Director of Research, Faculty, & Development; Senior Investigator
206-287-2737
Jennifer.B.Mcclure@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Julie E. Richards, PhD, MPH

Research Associate II
206-287-2100
Julie.E.Richards@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paige D. Wartko, Phd, MPH

Research Associate
206-442-5230
Paige.D.Wartko@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Kai Yeung, PharmD, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2063
Kai.Yeung@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

 

Affiliate researcher in addictions research

Emily Williams, PhD, MPH
Investigator
Health Services Research & Development
VA Puget Sound Health Care System