UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) is a division within the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences that focuses on addiction-related research and training. ISAP’s research efforts range from epidemiological and policy studies, to clinical trials of innovative behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions. In addition to implementation of research initiatives, a significant part of their work focuses on moving empirically-supported substance abuse interventions from research settings into mainstream application. Since its founding in 1999, ISAP has steadily established its presence as a major entity in the drug abuse research community, both domestically and internationally.
ISAP has a number of international projects that are shaping the way addiction science is approached worldwide. In 2011, ISAP received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to establish an HIV-Addiction Technology Transfer Center (H-ATTC) at Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam. The center concentrates education efforts on addiction, mental health, and HIV in two areas: pre-service education for medical, public health, and nursing students, and in-service education for the healthcare and social service workforce. Given the success of the H-ATTC in Hanoi, ISAP received additional SAMHSA funding in 2014 to add a second center in Ho Chi Minh City and again in 2016 to develop a third center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Each year more than 2,000 students and healthcare providers receive specialized training through ISAP’s H-ATTCs in Vietnam and Thailand on a range of HIV, addiction, and mental health topics. Through effective training, mentoring, and technical assistance, these Centers are broadening the skillsets of both students and healthcare workers in Vietnam and Thailand, enhancing their competence in addiction science. ISAP’s extensive network of international partners, including universities, civil society organizations, and both governmental and non-governmental entities is helping to create a more skilled workforce that is capable of treating individuals with HIV and substance use/mental health issues.
ISAP’s international projects have been so successful that SAMHSA, in collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has chosen to expand the H-ATTC model in 2017 by establishing similar collaborative training centers in Ukraine and South Africa.
For more information on the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, please visit www.uclaisap.org/index.html.