Other researchers are working to identify the most effective therapies for co-morbid disorders, such as depression and PTSD, and attempting to determine if early intervention improves outcomes.Still others are focusing on how readjustment issues relate to substance abuse.

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The department offers treatments for substance use problems throughout its health care system. A Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence (CREATE) group is working to promote value and access in VA's SUD services.

The group is doing so by validating and refining quality metrics; evaluating and disseminating low-cost, high impact innovations; and promoting patient and provider knowledge about evidence-based treatment for SUDs. specialty care treatment—In 2014, VA researchers in Philadelphia published the results of a study finding that a 26-week primary care intervention is just as effective as specialty outpatient treatment for treating alcohol dependence.

SUD can develop in individuals who use alcohol or other addicting drugs in harmful quantities.

According to the VA/Do D Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Substance Use Disorders, about 9 percent of Americans over age 18 have a non-tobacco SUD, and about 1 in 4 Americans will develop a non-tobacco SUD over the course of a lifetime.

Of those with a SUD diagnosis, 55 to75 percent also received a diagnosis for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.

top top VA began researching SUDs in the 1940s, through studies on the characteristics of alcoholics that took place at the Northport, New York, VA Medical Center.Later, other VA researchers developed the nicotine patch (see the section on smoking cessation below).top VA supports a broad portfolio of research looking at substance abuse prevention, screening, and treatment.Rothschild received the award for his research on the pathological biochemistry of the liver in alcoholism and liver disease. In the 1980s, O'Brien and his colleagues discovered a new way to treat alcoholism, by providing alcoholic patients with a drug called naltrexone, which had previously been used only for treating addiction to heroin and other opioids.In a study published in 1992, the team found that after three months of treatment, patients receiving naltrexone had fewer relapses to heavy drinking and reported less craving for alcohol and less pleasure when they did drink compared with those receiving a placebo.The research team concluded that integrated care for HIV and alcohol use disorders is important, and that routine alcohol and cognitive screenings may improve health outcomes among HIV-infected patients.