A "one-size-fits-all" approach to alcohol treatment is not the best strategy, according to University at Buffalo addiction experts, who have received a $3 million grant to explore whether treatments tailored to a person's behavior before seeking help will result in better treatment outcomes.
The five-year study, funded by a grant to UB's Research Institute on Addictions from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, will be conducted by Paul Stasiewicz, Ph.D., senior research scientist and director of RIA's Clinical Research Center.
"Previous studies show that if a person decreases or abstains from drinking prior to entering a formal treatment program, it can have a significant effect on their treatment success," Stasiewicz said. "This grant will explore a number of tailored treatment approaches to determine which works best for people in relation to their drinking behavior one month prior to seeking help."
Participants in the study will be randomly placed in one of three different interventions based on their pattern of drinking prior to treatment. The interventions will vary in both content and duration. More than 200 people will be recruited for the study.
Stasiewicz anticipates results from the study will give treatment providers much-needed data to help them determine the most effective and efficient method of treatment for people diagnosed with an alcohol-use disorder.
In addition, the grant will offer local individuals the opportunity for professional help by taking part in the clinical study.
"We have an excellent and experienced staff of therapists and researchers in our Clinical Research Center who are extremely skilled and compassionate," Stasiewicz said.
RIA's Clinical Research Center is the only alcoholism and substance abuse treatment facility licensed by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services to conduct clinical research. The study will begin seeking participants in late summer or early fall. To determine if an individual qualifies to take part, potential participants should call RIA's subject recruitment line at 716-887-2239.
Co-investigators on the study are RIA senior research scientists and Ph.D.s Clara Bradizza, Kurt Dermen and Joseph Lucke.
RIA is a research center of the University at Buffalo and a national leader in the study of alcohol and substance abuse issues. RIA's research programs, most of which have multiple-year funding, are supported by federal, state and private foundation grants.
Located on UB's downtown campus, RIA is a member of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and helps promote UB's strategic focus on research initiatives. To learn more, visit buffalo.edu/ria.