ADAI joins the department!

Department news | February 23, 2021

As of January 1, 2021, the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) — formally the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute — joined our department as a core program. ADAI’s transition from Health Sciences Administration (HSA) to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences was made at the direction of the UW Executive Office. We are thrilled to welcome them to our team!

Directed by Susan Ferguson, PhD, ADAI is a multidisciplinary research center with a mission to advance research, policy, and practice to improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by alcohol and drug use and addiction. The Institute has approximately 40 staff made up of clinical and social psychologists, epidemiologists, public health experts and information specialists. Since its inception in 1973, ADAI has awarded more than $3.5 Million to researchers in 40 University departments for approximately 350 projects, in addition to research conducted by its own research scientists.

ADAI’s name change was driven by the Institute’s desire to remove the stigmatizing term “abuse.” Research has found that stigma against those who use substances is a major barrier to seeking and receiving medical or behavioral health care, particularly for already-marginalized populations, including people of color, people experiencing homelessness, and sexual and gender minorities. Additionally, the new name reflects the full scope of the work that is conducted at ADAI around both addiction and non-addiction substance use issues, such as drug overdose and our cannabis research program.

The placement of ADAI in Psychiatry will generate opportunities for collaboration that will further strengthen and advance substance abuse research. ADAI will work in collaboration with several active substance abuse clinical and training programs, as well as with numerous faculty and staff involved in addiction psychiatry or substance use research. As with all our programs, ADAI will receive administrative oversight and operations support for their staff and programs. For the time being, they will stay in their off-campus space in the University District Building.

Please welcome our new colleagues and help them as they transition to their new administrative home.