Substance Abuse & Tobacco Control

Through our research, we increase understanding about substance-related disorders and improve treatment options.

Beginning with a study on primary care screening for risky drinking the 1970s, CHR has conducted substance use research in the real-world setting of Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Addiction Medicine Department. Much of our recent work has focused on the overuse—and over-prescribing—of opioids.

The Center for Health Research served for ten years as the data management center for the National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network, coordinating clinical trials to improve drug abuse treatment in real-life settings across the country. Our work in this area also includes systematic reviews for the United States Preventive Services Task Force, including a review on primary care screening for illicit drug use.

Tobacco dependence remains a stubborn public health problem, and CHR has a decades-long history of creating and refining programs that help people quit smoking. Working with the KP dental and health care plans, our researchers have developed and implemented several successful quit strategies. Recent tobacco-related CHR studies have evaluated a program for hospitalized smokers, estimated the return on investment for smoking cessation efforts, assessed the impact of tobacco advertising, and tested web-based interventions for teens.

Featured Studies

Press Release

Risky Drinkers Are Less Likely to Take Good Care Of Themselves And Seek Medical Care

Women and men who engage in frequent heavy drinking report significantly worse health-related practices, according to a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study in the journal Addiction Research & Theory.