Substance Use Disorder Research | NYU Langone Health

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Department of Psychiatry Research Substance Use Disorder Research

Substance Use Disorder Research

The goal of our substance use disorder research program, led by John Rotrosen, MD, in NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry, is to understand the pathophysiology and etiology of addiction and to improve access to and effectiveness of treatments.

One of our program’s largest sources of funding is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN). CTN’s mission is to bridge gaps between research and treatment at a national level. Our research has been instrumental to the network since its inception in 2000. Recent congressional appropriations to address the opioid crisis have infused new resources and vastly expanded the network’s capacity and activities. A diverse range of treatment programs, including those at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, have contributed to the network’s productivity.

Over the last decade, we’ve expanded our research into primary care, emergency medicine, and criminal justice settings, which allows us to more readily reach people who have addiction disorders. We collaborate closely with the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine, the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation, and the Department of Population Health to conduct these studies.

Clinical Studies

Dr. Rotrosen and Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD, are working with Charles R. Marmar, MD, director of the Center for the Study of Alcohol Use Disorder and Traumatic Stress, to conduct the following studies, all funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder Comorbid with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, grant number R21AA026424; Effects of Cannabidiol in Alcohol Use Disorder grant number 5R21AA025748-0.2; and Topiramate for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, grant number 1POIAA027057-01.

Our CTN research studies are funded by a parent grant, NIDA CTN: Greater New York Node; 5UG1DA013035. Several NYU Langone investigators are a part of the CTN’s Greater New York Node, which also consists of scientists from other area institutions.

Clinical Trials Network Studies

A Phased-Implementation Feasibility and Proof-of-Concept Study to Assess Incorporating the NIDA CTN Common Data Elements (CDEs) into the Electronic Health Record (EHR) in Large Primary Care Settings (“CDE-EHR-PC” Study); CTN-0062-Ot Phases 1–4
NYU Langone investigators: Jennifer McNeely, MD, and John Rotrosen, MD

Implementing the Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription Medication, and Other Substances (TAPS) Tool in Rural Federally-Qualified Health Centers; CTN-0062-Ot-A1 Phases 1–4
NYU Langone investigators: Jennifer McNeely, MD, and John Rotrosen, MD

Linkage to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Care Among HIV/HCV Co-infected Substance Users; CTN-0064
Greater New York Node investigator: Georgina Osorio, MD

Accelerated Development of Additive Pharmacotherapy Treatment (ADAPT-2) for Methamphetamine Use Disorder; CTN-0068
Greater New York Node investigator: Edward V. Nunes, MD

Opioid Use Disorder in the Emergency Department; CTN-0069
NYU Langone investigators: Ryan P. McCormack, MD, and John Rotrosen, MD

Primary Care Opioid Use Disorders Treatment (PROUD) Trial; CTN-0074
Greater New York Node investigator: Julia H. Arnsten, MD, MPH

NIDA Diversity Supplement Program
NYU Langone investigators: Sarah Mennenga, PhD; Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD; and John Rotrosen, MD

Emergency Department Connection to Care with Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder (ED-CONNECT); CTN-0079
NYU Langone investigators: Ryan P. McCormack, MD, and John Rotrosen, MD

Extended-Release Naltrexone vs. Buprenorphine for Opioid Treatment (X:BOT); CTN-0051
Greater New York Node investigators: Joshua D. Lee, MD; Edward V. Nunes, MD; and John Rotrosen, MD

Extended-Release Naltrexone vs. Buprenorphine for Opioid Treatment (X:BOT) Genetics Study; CTN-0051-A-1
Greater New York Node investigators: Mary Jeanne Kreek, MD; Joshua D. Lee, MD; Edward V. Nunes, MD; and John Rotrosen, MD

Other Funded Studies

Our other National Institutes of Health and association-funded studies are below.

Comparing Interventions for Opioid Dependent Patients Presenting in Medical Emergency Departments
Investigators: Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD, and Ryan P. McCormack, MD
Grant: National Institute on Drug Abuse; 5R01DA034613-05

A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
Investigators: Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD, and Stephen Ross, MD
Grant: Heffter Research Institute

Open Label Multi-Site Study of Safety and Effects of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for Treatment of PTSD
Investigator: Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD
Grant: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

The Effects of Psilocybin-Facilitated Experience on the Psychology and Effectiveness of Religious Professionals
Investigator: Stephen Ross, MD
Grant: The San Francisco Foundation

Basic and Translational Research

In addition to conducting clinical trials, our researchers study the neurobiology and genetics of addiction. For example, using magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging we were the first to identify white matter changes (reduction in fractional anisotropy) in frontal brain regions of chronic cocaine users that were associated with impaired impulse control. We have also evaluated brain recovery following abstinence from cocaine. Other research topics include the reduced interhemispheric resting state functional connectivity in cocaine addicts and studies on genetic susceptibility for heroin addiction.

Funded Research

Currently, Paul W. Glimcher, PhD, and John Rotrosen, MD, are conducting the study Computational Neuroeconomic Models of Addiction: Quantifying Progression and Treatment in Opioid Use Disorder. The research is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; R01-DA043676-02.

Research Training

We train Department of Psychiatry fellows, residents, and junior faculty in research. We also mentor several National Institutes of Health Career Development Award recipients.

Research Faculty

Our research faculty are leaders in scientific investigation of substance abuse.

John Rotrosen, MD
Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD
Kenneth D. Carr, PhD
Helena B. Hansen, MD, PhD
Crystal F. Lewis, PhD
Sarah Mennenga, PhD
Stephen Ross, MD

Contact Us

For more information about our department’s substance abuse research group, please contact Dr. Rotrosen at

Featured Publications

Our researchers publish in an array of scientific journals. Some of our recent publications are listed below.

Clinical Interpretations of Patient Experience in a Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder

Bogenschutz, Michael P; Podrebarac, Samantha K; Duane, Jessie H; Amegadzie, Sean S; Malone, Tara C; Owens, Lindsey T; Ross, Stephen; Mennenga, Sarah E

Frontiers in pharmacology. 2018 Jun ; 9:100

Brief Report: Gender differences in demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with opioid use disorder entering a comparative effectiveness medication trial

Campbell, Aimee N C; Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina; Hatch-Maillette, Mary; Mennenga, Sarah E; Pavlicova, Martina; Scodes, Jennifer; Saraiya, Tanya; Mitchell, Shannon G; Rotrosen, John; Novo, Patricia; Nunes, Edward V; Greenfield, Shelly F

American journal on addictions. 2018 Sep ; 27:465-470

Extended-Release Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Relapse in Criminal Justice Offenders

Lee, Joshua D; Friedmann, Peter D; Kinlock, Timothy W; Nunes, Edward V; Boney, Tamara Y; Hoskinson, Randall A Jr; Wilson, Donna; McDonald, Ryan; Rotrosen, John; Gourevitch, Marc N; Gordon, Michael; Fishman, Marc; Chen, Donna T; Bonnie, Richard J; Cornish, James W; Murphy, Sean M; O'Brien, Charles P

New England journal of medicine. 2016 Mar 31; 374:1232-42

Comparative effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone versus buprenorphine-naloxone for opioid relapse prevention (X:BOT): a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial

Lee, Joshua D; Nunes, Edward V Jr; Novo, Patricia; Bachrach, Ken; Bailey, Genie L; Bhatt, Snehal; Farkas, Sarah; Fishman, Marc; Gauthier, Phoebe; Hodgkins, Candace C; King, Jacquie; Lindblad, Robert; Liu, David; Matthews, Abigail G; May, Jeanine; Peavy, K Michelle; Ross, Stephen; Salazar, Dagmar; Schkolnik, Paul; Shmueli-Blumberg, Dikla; Stablein, Don; Subramaniam, Geetha; Rotrosen, John

Lancet. 2018 01 27; 391:309-318

Therapeutic use of classic psychedelics to treat cancer-related psychiatric distress

Ross, Stephen

International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, UK). 2018 Aug 13; 1-14

Nucleus Accumbens AMPA Receptor Trafficking Upregulated by Food Restriction: An Unintended Target for Drugs of Abuse and Forbidden Foods

Carr, Kenneth D

Current opinion in behavioral sciences. 2016 Jun ; 9:32-39