Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program Home Page


Faculty Research

NIDA Clinical Trials Network: Pacific Northwest Node
Principal Investigators: Dennis Donovan, Ph.D and John Roll, Ph.D (Dr. Saxon is co-investigator for pharmacologic studies)
The long-term objective of the project is to establish a regional research and training center of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network, for the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral and pharmacological therapies for drug use as delivered in real-world settings.

Clinical Trial of the Adrenergic α-1 Antagonist Prazosin for Alcohol Dependence
Principal Investigator:  Tracy Simpson, Ph.D.
Dr. Saxon is co-investigator for this clinical trial to examine the efficacy of prazosin, an a-1 adrenergic antagonist, in the treatment of alcohol dependence with data collection via interactive voice response technology. 

Collaborative Care for Primary Care Patients with Alcohol Use Disorders
Principal Investigator: Katharine Bradley, M.D.
Dr. Saxon is co-investigator for this The major goals of the randomized controlled trial are to evaluate the effectiveness of a collaborative care delivery system for alcohol use disorders in primary care at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. 

Addiction Housing Case Management for Veterans Enrolled in Addiction Treatment
Principal Investigator: Andrew Saxon, M.D.
This health services project will study the effect of introducing assertive community treatment/intensive case management for homeless Veterans enrolled in addiction treatment on days successfully housed during the 1 year intervention.
Alcohol Use among OEF/OIF VA patients with TBI
Principal Investigator: Eric Hawkins, Ph.D
The goal of this project is to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use and misuse among, and to estimate and compare the prevalence of alcohol misuse and documented brief interventions and/or referral to treatment among OEF/OIF VA patients with and without TBI. Dr. Saxon is a co-investigator 

Evaluating a Medication Alert to Reduce Concurrent Opioid and Benzodiazepine Use
Principal Investigator: Eric Hawkins, M.D.
This mixed-methods pilot study proposes to evaluate implementation of a locally developed advanced medication alert designed to identify Veterans with substance use and other high risk conditions to facilitate clinical decision making and promote safe prescribing practices. Dr. Saxon is a co-investigator.

Harm Reduction with Pharmacotherapy (HaRP) for Homeless Adults with Alcohol Dependence
Principal Investigator: Susan Collins, Ph.D
This randomized controlled trial (N=300) will test the efficacy of XR-NTX as a pharmacological adjunct to existing psychosocial harm-reduction services provided by community agencies to homeless people with alcohol dependence. Drs. Ries and Saxon are co-investigators.
Comparative Safety of Benzodiazepines and Opioids among VA Patients with PTSD
Principal Investigator: Eric Hawkins, Ph.D
This study will examine VA data to determine the safety consequences of prescribing concomitant benzodiazepine and opioid therapy to Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Saxon is a co-investigator.

Effect of Prazosin and Naltrexone on Script Induced Alcohol Craving in Veterans with Alcohol Use Disorders with and without Co-Occurring PTSD
Principal Investigators: Andrew Saxon, M.D. and Tracy Simpson, Ph.D
This human laboratory study will assess the effect of a combination of prazosin and naltrexone which has shown promise in animal models of alcohol self-administration on alcohol craving and PTSD symptoms.

Clinical Trial of the Adrenergic α-1 antagonist prazosin for alcohol dependence
Principal Investigator: Tracy Simpson, Ph.D (Dr. Saxon is co-investigator)
This study compares prazosin to placebo for the treatment of alcohol dependence with medical management as a behavioral platform and daily assessments of substance use and mood via interactive voice technology.

Pilot Study of a Group Psychotherapy for Co-Occurring Chronic Pain and Addiction
Principal Investigator: Andrew Saxon, M.D.
This study will develop manualized procedures for conduct of this psychotherapeutic approach to managing co-occurring pain and addiction and will conduct a small pilot trial of the new psychotherapy.

Contingency Management Models of Treatment for Methamphetamine and other Substance Abuse in Community Mental Health Center patients
Principal Investigator: Rick Ries, M.D.
This study will evaluate the efficacy of a twelve week contingency management  intervention for treating psycho-stimulant substance abuse when delivered in the context of a community mental health center  setting for adults suffering from serious mental illness.

Preventing Addiction Related Suicide
Principal Investigator: Richard Ries, M.D.
This study aims to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment by developing and testing a behavioral suicide education and prevention module (the PARS module) for integration into standard intensive outpatient addiction treatment.

Computer-Adapted Standardized Patients Instrument (CASPI) for MI Skills Assessment, Phase II
Principal Investigator:  John Baer, Ph.D
This study will develop a method for evaluating a therapist’s motivational interviewing skills via a computerized assessment.

Adolescent Psychopathology: Implications of Co-Morbidity
Principal Investigator: Ann Vander Stoep, Ph.D (Dr. Baer is Co-Investigator)
This project investigates the impact of co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders among adolescents.

Pacific Northwest Node of NIDA Clinical Trials Network
Principal Investigator:  Dennis Donovan, Ph.D (Dr. Saxon is Co-Principal Investigator for pharmacologic trials.  Drs. Baer and Ries are Co-Investigators)
The Pacific Northwest Node located in the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute is one of sixteen centers around the country participating in the Clinical Trials Network (CTN).  The mission of the CTN is to improve the quality of drug abuse treatment throughout the country using science as the vehicle.  The CTN provides an enterprise in which the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment researchers, and community-based service providers cooperatively develop, validate, refine, and deliver new treatment options to patients in community-level clinical practice. This unique partnership between community treatment providers and academic research leaders aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Conducting studies of behavioral, pharmacological, and integrated behavioral and pharmacological treatment interventions of therapeutic effect in rigorous, multi-site clinical trials to determine effectiveness across a broad range of community-based treatment settings and diversified patient populations; and
  • Ensuring the transfer of research results to physicians, clinicians, providers, and patients.

Center for Neuroregulation in Alcohol Dependence
Principal Investigator: Andrew J. Saxon, M.D. 
This developmental center project seeks to understand the neurobiology of alcohol dependence via translational research from pre-clinical to clinical studies.  It has an initial focus on the noradrenergic system in alcohol dependence.


Department Harborview Medical Center UW Medical Center VA Puget Sound Health Care System