Research and Innovation

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Contact Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)

  • 617-355-2727
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Locations

Research and Innovation

In addition to providing expert evaluation and care for adolescents with substance abuse problems and disorders, ASAP is home to a thriving research program that aims to find ways to prevent or decrease substance abuse and associated problems. Our goal is to create improved supports for adolescents, families, and the providers that care for them. The ASAP research team is staffed by a full time Director of Research Operations, a full time Data Manager and 3 full-time Research Assistants who support our doctoral level researchers who have numerous ongoing sponsored projects, funded by the NIH as well as private foundations, totaling over $1 million annually.

Currently funded  ASAP Research Projects:

“Validating NIAAA’s Brief Screening Guide in Youth With Chronic Medical Conditions”
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Grant #AA021913
The goal of this project is to validate the NIAAA screening tool for use with YCMC to facilitate standardized screening and improve the response capability of specialty providers who regularly interact with these youth.

“Validating Adolescent SBIRT Measures”
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Grant #20140273
The goals of this project are to validate a set of measures to support the study of brief interventions in primary care, and to develop a prototype brief intervention to prevent alcohol and cannabis use in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Clinical Trials Network – New England Consortium, Grant #015831
The goal of this project is to conduct a multi-site, national, randomized controlled trial of a brief intervention to prevent adolescent cannabis use in pediatric primary care.

Recent Research Publications

“An Electronic Screen for Triaging Adolescent Substance Use by Risk Levels”
Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Roger Weiss, MD, Lon Sherritt, MPH, Rosemary Ziemnik, BS, Allegra Spalding, BA, Shari Van Hook, MPH, Lydia A. Shrier, MD, MPH
JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Jul 28. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.774

“Childhood ADHD and risk for substance dependence in adulthood: a longitudinal, population-based study.”
Levy, S., Katusic, S. K., Colligan, R. C., Weaver, A. L., Killian, J. M., Voigt, R. G., & Barbaresi, W. J. (2014). PloS One, 9(8), e105640.

Education and Training

ASAP collaborates with clinicians, both in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital, to provide training in preventing, identifying, and treating adolescent substance use and substance use disorders. With support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), we have created both a medical residency and professional peer reviewed training curricula in adolescent screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) that have been widely disseminated.  We have organized CME courses on these topics and have also worked with SAMHSA and NIAAA to create national curricula in these areas.  Our current sponsored teaching programs total more than $250,000 annually.

“Training in Adolescent SBIRT for Medical Professionals”
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/ Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Grant #TI025389
Sharon Levy & Elissa Weitzman,
The goal of this project is to train nurses, social workers and sub-specialty physicians that care for adolescent patients in screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT).

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

ASAP has a contract with John Snow, Inc. and the New Hampshire Center for Excellence to train pediatricians and family practice physicians statewide in adolescent SBIRT best practices.

Recent Publications

“Implementing Adolescent SBIRT Education in a Pediatric Residency Curriculum”
Schram P, Harris SK, Van Hook S, Forman S, Mezzacappa E, Pavlyuk R, Levy S.
Subst Abus. 2014 Jul 18:0.

Recent courses produced through ASAP

The Pediatrician and Substance Use: Minimizing the impact of substances on infants, children and adolescents.
Two and a half day national CME course on identifying, intervening and treating substance abuse in the pediatric medical home. Co-sponsored by American Academy of Pediatrics and CASA Columbia. April 26-28; Boston, MA.

Treatment of opioid addiction in adolescents.
Available as an 8 hour on-line training course developed for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Available through PCSS-MAT.

Using the Youth Alcohol Screening Guide
Online CME course sponsored by NIAAA, completed by more than 25,000 professionals to date. Available through WebMD.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944