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Phoenix House Partners with U. of Pennsylvania

Phoenix House teams up with academia in search of scientific solutions to drug problems.


Phoenix gets a boost from U of Penn.
Photo via PhoenixHouse

By Dirk Hanson


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Phoenix House, a nationally known treatment group, and the Center for Substance Abuse Solutions at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, will collaborate on efforts to bring “the best of science and technology innovation into the field of substance abuse prevention,” according to Phoenix House. The Center at the University of Pennsylvania is directed by A. Thomas McLellan, a career addiction researcher and formerly the assistant Drug Czar for President Obama. We can only wish them well in a project intended to raise the visibility of addiction medicine, which has become a well-established and growing field of research. “While addiction is a chronic condition with few treatments,” said McLellan, “we do have smarter, more effective ways of addressing substance abuse and reducing the devastating effects on communities.” Getting those smarter ideas out to the public is a prime motivation behind the collaboration, said Dr. Deni Carise, Chief Clinical Officer for the Phoenix House Foundation. Dr. Carise told The Fix: “I'm most excited about partnering with the Center for Substance Abuse Solutions because they are dedicated to something much needed in our field--bringing scientifically-based, practical solutions to the substance-related problems we see every day.”
As examples of successful partnering, Dr. Carise points to a pilot project with the University of Pennsylvania aimed at developing new screening and intervention programs for identifying high-risk adolescents in public schools. The initial program will be rolled out in two Long Island schools, one in an economically distressed community, and the other in an affluent neighborhood.

Phoenix House was established in 1967, and now operates more than 120 drug and alcohol treatment programs in 11 states. The Center for Substance Abuse Solutions at the University of Pennsylvania works with substance abuse researchers to disseminate important findings about substance use disorders.

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