NIH Awards McLean Hospital $7.7 Million to Improve Drug Treatment

October 22, 2002

Public Affairs

Belmont, MA - The NIHís National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded McLean Hospital a five-year, $7.7-million grant to help improve drug treatment. The $7.7 million is the largest federal grant ever awarded to McLean.


The grant establishes McLean as the center of a Clinical Trials Network and is a partnership between nine community treatment programs and eight academic research centers throughout northern New England.

"The goal is to work collaboratively to design and implement addiction treatment studies in community programs that treat diverse populations, so that drug dependent individuals receive the full benefit of the evolving science of addiction treatment," explained Roger Weiss, MD, clinical director for McLean Hospitalís Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center and the principal investigator for the northern New England network.

"Unfortunately, the effectiveness of new treatments for drug addiction has been demonstrated primarily in specialized research settings, with somewhat restricted patient populations. The Clinical Trials Network will enable us to design clinical trials based on the real-life situations of people who enter drug treatment programs," said Weiss.

The studies will determine the effectiveness of a variety of treatment approaches, including behavioral therapy, medication and a combination of the two.

McLean Hospital is one of 17 national sites chosen by NIDA to form a larger Clinical Trials Network. Each site will receive its own funding. McLean will initially receive $1.7 million the first year, with the rest spread out over the remaining four years of the network.

As the principal investigator for the northern New England trials, Weiss will oversee a network of nine community treatment programs and a regional research and training center, located at eight sites. The research and training center will train staff of the community programs and manage and analyze data collected during clinical trials.

In addition to McLean Hospital, the research and training sites are Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston University, Northeastern University, Dartmouth Medical School, Brockton Veterans Administration Hospital, Brown University, and the Nathan Kline Institute in Long Island, NY.

"I am very excited to work with a large number of talented people throughout northern New England on a project that promises to improve the quality of drug abuse treatment across the country," said Weiss.

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