A new study shows that imaging of brain activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy might offer a more accurate and reliable way to distinguish impairment from cannabis intoxication
Explore This Treatment Program
The Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) is one of the major clinical research programs of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. CAM provides research, treatment and training opportunities in a multidisciplinary, outpatient setting.
CAM delivers clinical evaluation, consultation and study-related clinical care in a multidisciplinary setting. We offer outpatient treatment through several programs:
- Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS)
ARMS is an outpatient clinic that specializes in care for youth ages 14-26 suffering from substance-related problems. The program gives families rapid access to information and provides support services for both youth patients and their families.
- West End Clinic for Addiction Treatment
The West End Clinic is an outpatient facility for those with alcohol and drug addictions, co-occurring mental health disorders and other types of addictive behaviors. The clinic offers both outpatient therapy and medication treatments in addition to other resources and support services.
Collaborative Addiction Recovery Research Efforts
CAM is involved in various collaborative efforts with clinics within Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MIT and Tufts University, as well as community agencies in the Boston area.
Our research is always changing, but some of our recent research has included the following:
- Neuroimaging Studies: Multiple studies use neuroimaging technology, such as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and positron emission tomography (PET), to evaluate the cognitive and behavioral effects of THC and CBD
- Integrated Smoking Cessation Treatment Study: The aim of this pragmatic clinical trial is to determine whether academic detailing and community health worker support may improve tobacco smoking cessation rates within the serious mental illness population. This longitudinal study operates alongside Vinfen and Bay Cove Human Services to assess the cessation rates of over 1,100 patients within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Adolescent Substance Use Studies: The purpose of these studies is to evaluate how one month and six months of cannabis abstinence may impact cognition, memory and learning among adolescents
- Evaluation of Sameem Associates' Adolescent Treatment Addiction Services program: This project is assessing the community-based agency's program to determine the intermediary and long-term outcomes of youth treated for substance use disorders and identify the mechanisms through which positive changes occur
Participate in a Clinical Trial
Currently, the program is engaged in multiple clinical trials studying pharmacological and behavioral treatments of alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and cocaine dependence, as well as the impact of addiction together with other mental health conditions.
Recovery Research Institute: Enhancing Recovery Through Science
The Recovery Research Institute (RRI) is a non-profit research institute of Mass General's Department of Psychiatry and Harvard Medical School (501(c)(3)) located in Boston. In recognition of the increased public health and broader societal harms related to substance use disorders and the lack of emphasis on research pertaining to how individuals achieve remission and sustain long-term recovery, the Recovery Research institute was created in 2012 under the direction of John F. Kelly, PhD, with a goal of enhancing the public health impact of addiction recovery science through the summary, synthesis and distribution of scientific findings and the conduct of novel research investigation.
The Recovery Research Institute is home to the Recovery Research Review, a free electronic monthly publication containing contextualized summaries and syntheses of the latest research in addiction treatment and recovery. In addition, the RRI serves as a teaching and training center for promising researchers in addiction, funding two to three postdoctoral fellows each year.
In 2016, the Recovery Research Institute developed the MAPS software, groundbreaking in its ability to assist in the dynamic assessment of individuals with substance use disorders across clinical settings. The RRI worked also to expand its “Addictionary” to over 100 addiction-related terms and began a national effort to fight the stigmatization of addiction, leading the way in helping to align the language of addiction to be consistent with a broader public health approach to addressing substance use disorders.
In research for 2016, the RRI conducted the first study on the prevalence and pathways of addiction recovery using a nationally representative sample of 50,000 US adults, and the first ever study to characterize participation and benefits of online recovery support networks using the social network site InTheRooms.com.
Professional Training in Addiction Medicine
Mass General is an integrated full-service primary, secondary and tertiary care hospital network with access to large numbers of diverse local patients, making it an ideal setting for clinical research in addiction. The hospital is home to thousands of basic and clinical scientists and collaboration is encouraged. By integrating Mass General’s exceptional clinical, research and teaching capabilities, CAM has expanded the boundaries of addiction research. The clinical environment at CAM is ideal for clinical research in substance use disorders.
CAM is strongly committed to training psychiatry residents, fellows and psychology interns. We actively provide education for local and visiting medical students and residents who participate in twice weekly rounds, individual supervision, case presentations and three to five monthly didactic lectures. CAM’s expert, multidisciplinary team translates scientific findings and applies evidence-based clinical strategies to create new models of care, leading to more favorable outcomes for this large but inadequately served population.
K12 Fellowship Applications: Massachusetts General Hospital Career Development Program in Substance Use and Addiction Research
The K12 Career Development Program in Substance Use and Addiction Medicine, based at Mass General and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, will soon be recruiting postdoctoral clinician-scientists to start on or after July 1, 2023.
The program provides salary, training and project support for a two-year (with an additional one year at the discretion of the K12 faculty) period of intensive mentored research training and career development.
Funding includes an annual stipend of $80,000 for 75-100% effort and up to $35,000 annually in allowable research and training costs that may be applied to travel to scientific meetings, research project costs and tuition expenses.
Timeline for recruitment: Application will be due by November 15, 2022, and notification of award will be made in December 2022. Applications are not open yet, but stay tuned for updates.
Addiction Psychiatry Research Fellowship
This one-year, full-time addiction fellowship offers exposure to a wide range of clinical opportunities at Mass General, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and McLean Hospital, as well as opportunities for translational research and clinical trials focused on the development of novel behavioral treatments of addiction, genetics and neuroimaging components. There is also particular interest in development of surrogate markers of treatment response and relapse.
Fellows may work on projects funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), or they can work with Eden Evins, MD, MPH, or John Kelly, PhD, to seek grant support for a fellowship.
Each year up to three clinical fellows receive training in the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship. Matriculants are board-eligible in addiction psychiatry.
Learn more about the team of clinicians and researchers in the Center for Addiction Medicine.
- American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
- American Society of Addiction Medicine
- Massachusetts Medical Society
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
General & Local Resources
- Massachusetts Al-Anon and Alateen
- Alcoholics Anonymous Central Service of Eastern Massachusetts
- COMBINE Clinical Trial
- Greater Boston Council on Alcoholism, Inc.
- Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
- Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline
- Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation & Prevention Program
- McLean Hospital Ambulatory Drug and Alcohol Treatment
- Narcotics Anonymous of New England (Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
- Center for Addiction Medicine
- Press Release
- Jun | 11 | 2021
Human health records and studies of lab mice suggest that vitamin D levels influence the desire for opioids and sun-seeking behavior.
- Press Release
- Jan | 20 | 2021
With overdose deaths rising, researchers argue that one potential tool for stigma reduction—terminology—is crucial to study.
- Oct | 19 | 2020
In a three-part series, Mass General explores the frontline efforts of three community coalitions supported by the Center for Community Health Improvement. This article focuses on the Charlestown Coalition.
- Press Release
- Sep | 25 | 2020
New study highlights success of a mobile clinical and outreach van in helping people on the street with opioid addiction
A novel mobile health program created in early 2018 by the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has proven to be an effective model for bringing opioid addiction treatment services directly to marginalized individuals, particularly the homeless.
- Press Release
- Mar | 13 | 2020
The Massachusetts General Hospital Get Waivered program has received a behavioral economics and digital health grant through an initiative funded by the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE).
Pioneering Psychiatry Research
The integration of patient care and clinical research has been a hallmark of the Department of Psychiatry for more than 30 years. Today, the department has the largest clinical research program in the hospital, with studies at the forefront of neuroscience, molecular biology and genetics.