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John  Knight, MD

John Knight MD
Research Center:
Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR)
Medicine Research
Developmental Medicine Research
Hospital Title:
Associate in Medicine
Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Substance abuse
Contact Via Email
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Lab Web Site:  The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (Ceasar)

Research Overview

John Knight's research is directed at developing an effective brief intervention for drug abuse that could be widely implemented in settings where adolescents receive routine healthcare.

The long-term goal of Dr. Knight and his colleagues at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) is to improve screening and intervention for adolescent substance abuse in medical office settings. Because use of drugs and alcohol is associated with a variety of health problems, settings where adolescents receive routine medical care are ideal for routine screening and early intervention. However, little research has been conducted on the efficacy of screening and intervention for drug use among adolescent primary care patients.

More immediately, the CeASAR team intends to:

  • Test the efficacy of a new intervention (Motivational Interviewing) in a Stage 1b trial within the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital.
  • Develop and test an intervention that can be applied to adolecents at all levels of substance abuse during the usual well care visit.
  • Conduct a survey of primary care providers on their usual practices related to laboratory testing of adolescents for drugs.

About John Knight

John Knight received his MD degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency at Albany Medical Center Hospital and a postgraduate fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.

Dr. Knight has served as a consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Rial A, Kim-Harris S, Knight JR, Araujo M, Gómez P, Braña T, Varela J, Golpe S. Empirical validation of the CRAFFT Abuse Screening Test in a Spanish sample. Adicciones. 2018 Jan 15; 0(0):1105.
  2. Knight JR, Kuzubova K, Csemy L, Sherritt L, Copelas S, Harris SK. Computer-Facilitated Screening and Brief Advice to Reduce Adolescents' Heavy Episodic Drinking: A Study in Two Countries. J Adolesc Health. 2018 Jan; 62(1):118-120.
  3. O'Brien KHM, Knight JR, Harris SK. A Call for Social Responsibility and Suicide Risk Screening, Prevention, and Early Intervention Following the Release of the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Oct 01; 177(10):1418-1419.
  4. Welsh JW, Knight JR, Hadland SE. Adolescent Frequent Heavy Drinking From 1991-2015. Pediatrics. 2017 06; 139(6).
  5. Welsh JW, Knight JR, Hou SS, Malowney M, Schram P, Sherritt L, Boyd JW. Association Between Substance Use Diagnoses and Psychiatric Disorders in an Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic-Based Population. J Adolesc Health. 2017 Jun; 60(6):648-652.
  6. Hadland SE, Knight JR, Harris SK. The Knowledge Gaps for Medical Marijuana in Pediatric Conditions. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Nov-Dec; 36(9):767-8.
  7. Hadland SE, Knight JR. Brief Interventions for Alcohol Use: Where, When, and How? Pediatrics. 2015 Oct; 136(4):e1002-4.
  8. Zaman T, Malowney M, Knight J, Boyd JW. Co-Occurrence of Substance-Related and Other Mental Health Disorders Among Adolescent Cannabis Users. J Addict Med. 2015 Jul-Aug; 9(4):317-21.
  9. Harris SK, Knight JR, Van Hook S, Sherritt L, Brooks TL, Kulig JW, Nordt CA, Saitz R. Adolescent substance use screening in primary care: Validity of computer self-administered versus clinician-administered screening. Subst Abus. 2016; 37(1):197-203.
  10. Hadland SE, Knight JR, Harris SK. Medical marijuana: review of the science and implications for developmental-behavioral pediatric practice. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Feb-Mar; 36(2):115-23.
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  12. Lange JN, Mufarrij PW, Easter L, Knight J, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Fish oil supplementation and urinary oxalate excretion in normal subjects on a low-oxalate diet. Urology. 2014 Oct; 84(4):779-81.
  13. Harris SK, Louis-Jacques J, Knight JR. Screening and brief intervention for alcohol and other abuse. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2014 Apr; 25(1):126-56.
  14. Pugatch M, Knight JR, McGuiness P, Sherritt L, Levy S. A group therapy program for opioid-dependent adolescents and their parents. Subst Abus. 2014; 35(4):435-41.
  15. Harris SK, Knight JR. Putting the Screen in Screening: Technology-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions in Medical Settings. Alcohol Res. 2014; 36(1):63-79.
  16. Louis-Jacques J, Knight JR, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Harris SK. Do risky friends change the efficacy of a primary care brief intervention for adolescent alcohol use? J Adolesc Health. 2014 Apr; 54(4):449-53.
  17. Lange JN, Easter L, Amoroso R, Benfield D, Mufarri PW, Knight J, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Internet program for facilitating dietary modifications limiting kidney stone risk. Can J Urol. 2013 Oct; 20(5):6922-6.
  18. Mufarrij PW, Lange JN, Knight J, Assimos DG, Holmes RP. The effects of Oxazyme on oxalate degradation: results and implications of in vitro experiments. J Endourol. 2013 Mar; 27(3):284-7.
  19. Boyd JW, Knight JR. Ethical and managerial considerations regarding state physician health programs. J Addict Med. 2012 Dec; 6(4):243-6.
  20. Riedel TJ, Knight J, Murray MS, Milliner DS, Holmes RP, Lowther WT. 4-Hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase inactivity in primary hyperoxaluria type 3 and glyoxylate reductase inhibition. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Oct; 1822(10):1544-52.
  21. Lange JN, Wood KD, Wong H, Otto R, Mufarrij PW, Knight J, Akpinar H, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Sensitivity of human strains of Oxalobacter formigenes to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Urology. 2012 Jun; 79(6):1286-9.
  22. Harris SK, Csémy L, Sherritt L, Starostova O, Van Hook S, Johnson J, Boulter S, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig JW, Van Vranken N, Knight JR. Computer-facilitated substance use screening and brief advice for teens in primary care: an international trial. Pediatrics. 2012 Jun; 129(6):1072-82.
  23. Lange JN, Wood KD, Knight J, Assimos DG, Holmes RP. Glyoxal formation and its role in endogenous oxalate synthesis. Adv Urol. 2012; 2012:819202.
  24. Lange JN, Wood KD, Mufarrij PW, Callahan MF, Easter L, Knight J, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. The impact of dietary calcium and oxalate ratios on stone risk. Urology. 2012 Jun; 79(6):1226-9.
  25. Jiang J, Johnson LC, Knight J, Callahan MF, Riedel TJ, Holmes RP, Lowther WT. Metabolism of [13C5]hydroxyproline in vitro and in vivo: implications for primary hyperoxaluria. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Mar 15; 302(6):G637-43.
  26. Knight J, Holmes RP, Cramer SD, Takayama T, Salido E. Hydroxyproline metabolism in mouse models of primary hyperoxaluria. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Mar 15; 302(6):F688-93.
  27. Knight J, Hinsdale M, Holmes R. Glycolate and 2-phosphoglycolate content of tissues measured by ion chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Anal Biochem. 2012 Feb 01; 421(1):121-4.
  28. Riedel TJ, Johnson LC, Knight J, Hantgan RR, Holmes RP, Lowther WT. Structural and biochemical studies of human 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase: implications for hydroxyproline metabolism in primary hyperoxaluria. PLoS One. 2011; 6(10):e26021.
  29. Knight J, Jiang J, Wood KD, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Oxalate and sucralose absorption in idiopathic calcium oxalate stone formers. Urology. 2011 Aug; 78(2):475.e9-475.e13.
  30. Jiang J, Knight J, Easter LH, Neiberg R, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Impact of dietary calcium and oxalate, and Oxalobacter formigenes colonization on urinary oxalate excretion. J Urol. 2011 Jul; 186(1):135-9.
  31. Levy S, Knight JR, Moore T, Weinstein Z, Sherritt L, Weiss RD. Acceptability of drug testing in an outpatient substance abuse program for adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2011 Mar; 48(3):229-33.
  32. Knight J, Assimos DG, Callahan MF, Holmes RP. Metabolism of primed, constant infusions of [1,2-¹³C2] glycine and [1-¹³C1] phenylalanine to urinary oxalate. Metabolism. 2011 Jul; 60(7):950-6.
  33. Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Wechsler H, Knight JR. Alcohol policy enforcement and changes in student drinking rates in a statewide public college system: a follow-up study. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2010 Aug 04; 5:18.
  34. Hassan A, Csemy L, Rappo MA, Knight JR. Adolescent substance abuse around the world: an international perspective. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2009 Dec; 20(3):915-29, ix.
  35. Hassan A, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J, Knight JR. Primary care follow-up plans for adolescents with substance use problems. Pediatrics. 2009 Jul; 124(1):144-50.
  36. Levy S, Sherritt L, Gabrielli J, Shrier LA, Knight JR. Screening adolescents for substance use-related high-risk sexual behaviors. J Adolesc Health. 2009 Nov; 45(5):473-7.
  37. Passman CM, Holmes RP, Knight J, Easter L, Pais V, Assimos DG. Effect of soda consumption on urinary stone risk parameters. J Endourol. 2009 Mar; 23(3):347-50.
  38. Sanchez-Samper X, Knight JR. Drug abuse by adolescents: general considerations. Pediatr Rev. 2009 Mar; 30(3):83-92; quiz 93.
  39. Knight J, Easter LH, Neiberg R, Assimos DG, Holmes RP. Increased protein intake on controlled oxalate diets does not increase urinary oxalate excretion. Urol Res. 2009 Apr; 37(2):63-8.
  40. Harris SK, Sherritt LR, Holder DW, Kulig J, Shrier LA, Knight JR. Reliability and validity of the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality among adolescents. J Relig Health. 2008 Dec; 47(4):438-57.
  41. Wilson CR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Lawrence N, Glotzer D, Shaw JS, Knight JR. Parental alcohol screening in pediatric practices. Pediatrics. 2008 Nov; 122(5):e1022-9.
  42. Mentzer RM, Bartels C, Bolli R, Boyce S, Buckberg GD, Chaitman B, Haverich A, Knight J, Menasché P, Myers ML, Nicolau J, Simoons M, Thulin L, Weisel RD. Sodium-hydrogen exchange inhibition by cariporide to reduce the risk of ischemic cardiac events in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting: results of the EXPEDITION study. Ann Thorac Surg. 2008 Apr; 85(4):1261-70.
  43. Levy S, Knight JR. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for adolescents. J Addict Med. 2008; 2(4):215-21.
  44. Levy S, Williams JF, Knight JR. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for adolescents: companion clinical case. J Addict Med. 2008; 2(4):222-6.
  45. Mears CJ, Knight JR. The role of schools in combating illicit substance abuse. Pediatrics. 2007 Dec; 120(6):1379-84.
  46. Rojas NL, Sherrit L, Harris S, Knight JR. The role of parental consent in adolescent substance use research. J Adolesc Health. 2008 Feb; 42(2):192-7.
  47. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Lawrence N, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J. Prevalence of positive substance abuse screen results among adolescent primary care patients. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Nov; 161(11):1035-41.
  48. Knight JR, Levy S. The national debate on drug testing in schools. J Adolesc Health. 2007 Nov; 41(5):419-20.
  49. Prokopovich S, Knight J, Assimos DG, Holmes RP. Variability of Oxalobacter formigenes and oxalate in stool samples. J Urol. 2007 Nov; 178(5):2186-90.
  50. Knight J, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Intestinal and renal handling of oxalate loads in normal individuals and stone formers. Urol Res. 2007 Jun; 35(3):111-7.
  51. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Holder DW, Kulig J, Shrier LA, Gabrielli J, Chang G. Alcohol use and religiousness/spirituality among adolescents. South Med J. 2007 Apr; 100(4):349-55.
  52. Levy S, Sherritt L, Vaughan BL, Germak M, Knight JR. Results of random drug testing in an adolescent substance abuse program. Pediatrics. 2007 Apr; 119(4):e843-8.
  53. Knight JR, Hugenberger GP. On forgiveness. South Med J. 2007 Apr; 100(4):420-1.
  54. Levy S, Vaughan BL, Angulo M, Knight JR. Buprenorphine replacement therapy for adolescents with opioid dependence: early experience from a children's hospital-based outpatient treatment program. J Adolesc Health. 2007 May; 40(5):477-82.
  55. Knight JR, Mears CJ. Testing for drugs of abuse in children and adolescents: addendum--testing in schools and at home. Pediatrics. 2007 Mar; 119(3):627-30.
  56. Van Hook S, Harris SK, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J, Knight JR. The "Six T's": barriers to screening teens for substance abuse in primary care. J Adolesc Health. 2007 May; 40(5):456-61.
  57. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Lawrence N, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J. Adolescents' preference for substance abuse screening in primary care practice. Subst Abus. 2007; 28(4):107-17.
  58. Knight JR, Sanchez LT, Sherritt L, Bresnahan LR, Fromson JA. Outcomes of a monitoring program for physicians with mental and behavioral health problems. J Psychiatr Pract. 2007 Jan; 13(1):25-32.
  59. Hertz JA, Knight JR. Prescription drug misuse: a growing national problem. Adolesc Med Clin. 2006 Oct; 17(3):751-69; abstract xiii.
  60. Knight J, Holmes RP, Milliner DS, Monico CG, Cramer SD. Glyoxylate reductase activity in blood mononuclear cells and the diagnosis of primary hyperoxaluria type 2. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2006 Aug; 21(8):2292-5.
  61. Levy S, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Angulo M, Knight JR. Drug testing of adolescents in general medical clinics, in school and at home: physician attitudes and practices. J Adolesc Health. 2006 Apr; 38(4):336-42.
  62. Levy S, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Angulo M, Knight JR. Drug testing of adolescents in ambulatory medicine: physician practices and knowledge. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Feb; 160(2):146-50.
  63. Burke PJ, Da Silva JD, Vaughan BL, Knight JR. Training high school counselors on the use of motivational interviewing to screen for substance abuse. Subst Abus. 2005 Dec; 26(3-4):31-4.
  64. Wilson CR, Sherritt L, Knight JR. Teaching Residents about Child Neglect and Parental Alcoholism: A Controlled Pilot Study. Med Educ Online. 2005 Dec; 10(1):4381.
  65. Bridgemohan CF, Levy S, Veluz AK, Knight JR. Teaching paediatric residents about learning disorders: use of standardised case discussion versus multimedia computer tutorial. Med Educ. 2005 Aug; 39(8):797-806.
  66. Knight J, Lively MO, Johnston N, Dettmar PW, Koufman JA. Sensitive pepsin immunoassay for detection of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Laryngoscope. 2005 Aug; 115(8):1473-8.
  67. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Gates EC, Levy S, Chang G. Motivational interviewing for adolescent substance use: a pilot study. J Adolesc Health. 2005 Aug; 37(2):167-9.
  68. Chang G, Sherritt L, Knight JR. Adolescent cigarette smoking and mental health symptoms. J Adolesc Health. 2005 Jun; 36(6):517-22.
  69. Wolraich ML, Wibbelsman CJ, Brown TE, Evans SW, Gotlieb EM, Knight JR, Ross EC, Shubiner HH, Wender EH, Wilens T. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adolescents: a review of the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical implications. Pediatrics. 2005 Jun; 115(6):1734-46.
  70. McCabe SE, Teter CJ, Boyd CJ, Knight JR, Wechsler H. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids among U.S. college students: prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addict Behav. 2005 May; 30(4):789-805.
  71. Knight J, Holmes RP. Mitochondrial hydroxyproline metabolism: implications for primary hyperoxaluria. Am J Nephrol. 2005 Mar-Apr; 25(2):171-5.
  72. McCabe SE, Knight JR, Teter CJ, Wechsler H. Non-medical use of prescription stimulants among US college students: prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addiction. 2005 Jan; 100(1):96-106.
  73. Johnston N, Knight J, Dettmar PW, Lively MO, Koufman J. Pepsin and carbonic anhydrase isoenzyme III as diagnostic markers for laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Laryngoscope. 2004 Dec; 114(12):2129-34.
  74. Wilson CR, Sherritt L, Gates E, Knight JR. Are clinical impressions of adolescent substance use accurate? Pediatrics. 2004 Nov; 114(5):e536-40.
  75. Knight JR. A 35-year-old physician with opioid dependence. JAMA. 2004 Sep 15; 292(11):1351-7.
  76. Roth EJ, Barreto P, Sherritt L, Palfrey JS, Risko W, Knight JR. A new, experiential curriculum in child advocacy for pediatric residents. Ambul Pediatr. 2004 Sep-Oct; 4(5):418-23.
  77. Levy S, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Gates EC, Holder DW, Kulig JW, Knight JR. Test-retest reliability of adolescents' self-report of substance use. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 Aug; 28(8):1236-41.
  78. Levy S, Van Hook S, Knight J. A review of Internet-based home drug-testing products for parents. Pediatrics. 2004 Apr; 113(4):720-6.
  79. Elgar FJ, Knight J, Worrall GJ, Sherman G. Behavioural and substance use problems in rural and urban delinquent youths. Can J Psychiatry. 2003 Oct; 48(9):633-6.
  80. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Kelley K, Van Hook S, Wechsler H. Heavy drinking and alcohol policy enforcement in a statewide public college system. J Stud Alcohol. 2003 Sep; 64(5):696-703.
  81. Shrier LA, Harris SK, Kurland M, Knight JR. Substance use problems and associated psychiatric symptoms among adolescents in primary care. Pediatrics. 2003 Jun; 111(6 Pt 1):e699-705.
  82. Brooks TL, Woods ER, Knight JR, Shrier LA. Body modification and substance use in adolescents: is there a link? J Adolesc Health. 2003 Jan; 32(1):44-9.
  83. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Gates EC, Chang G. Validity of brief alcohol screening tests among adolescents: a comparison of the AUDIT, POSIT, CAGE, and CRAFFT. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2003 Jan; 27(1):67-73.
  84. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Shrier LA, Harris SK, Chang G. Validity of the CRAFFT substance abuse screening test among adolescent clinic patients. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Jun; 156(6):607-14.
  85. Rigotti NA, Regan S, Majchrzak NE, Knight JR, Wechsler H. Tobacco use by Massachusetts public college students: long term effect of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. Tob Control. 2002 Jun; 11 Suppl 2:ii20-4.
  86. Knight JR, Wechsler H, Kuo M, Seibring M, Weitzman ER, Schuckit MA. Alcohol abuse and dependence among U.S. college students. J Stud Alcohol. 2002 May; 63(3):263-70.
  87. Levy S, Vaughan BL, Knight JR. Office-based intervention for adolescent substance abuse. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2002 Apr; 49(2):329-43.
  88. Knight JR, Sanchez LT, Sherritt L, Bresnahan LR, Silveria JM, Fromson JA. Monitoring physician drug problems: attitudes of participants. J Addict Dis. 2002; 21(4):27-36.
  89. Knight JR, Goodman E, Pulerwitz T, DuRant RH. Reliability of the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) in adolescent medical practice. J Adolesc Health. 2001 Aug; 29(2):125-30.
  90. Knight JR. The role of the primary care provider in preventing and treating alcohol problems in adolescents. Ambul Pediatr. 2001 May-Jun; 1(3):150-61.
  91. Knight JR, Frazer CH, Goodman E, Blaschke GS, Bravender TD, Emans SJ. Development of a Bright Futures curriculum for pediatric residents. Ambul Pediatr. 2001 May-Jun; 1(3):136-40.
  92. Knight JR, Palacios J, Shannon M. Unanticipated reactions to a recent report on alcohol problems among pediatric residents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000 Jun; 154(6):635.
  93. Knight JR, Goodman E, Pulerwitz T, DuRant RH. Reliabilities of short substance abuse screening tests among adolescent medical patients. Pediatrics. 2000 Apr; 105(4 Pt 2):948-53.
  94. Bravender T, Goodman E, Knight J, Frazer C, Luoni M, Blaschke G, Emans SJ. Case-based teaching in adolescent medicine. J Adolesc Health. 2000 Apr; 26(4):241-2.
  95. Frazer C, Emans SJ, Goodman E, Luoni M, Bravender T, Knight J. Teaching residents about development and behavior: meeting the new challenge. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Nov; 153(11):1190-4.
  96. Knight JR, Palacios JN, Shannon M. Prevalence of alcohol problems among pediatric residents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Nov; 153(11):1181-3.
  97. Knight JR, Shrier LA, Bravender TD, Farrell M, Vander Bilt J, Shaffer HJ. A new brief screen for adolescent substance abuse. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Jun; 153(6):591-6.
  98. Emans SJ, Bravender T, Knight J, Frazer C, Luoni M, Berkowitz C, Armstrong E, Goodman E. Adolescent medicine training in pediatric residency programs: are we doing a good job? Pediatrics. 1998 Sep; 102(3 Pt 1):588-95.
  99. Bravender T, Knight JR. Recent patterns of use and associated risks of illicit drug use in adolescents. Curr Opin Pediatr. 1998 Aug; 10(4):344-9.
  100. Durant RH, Knight J, Goodman E. Factors associated with aggressive and delinquent behaviors among patients attending an adolescent medicine clinic. J Adolesc Health. 1997 Nov; 21(5):303-8.
  101. Goodman E, Knight JR, DuRant RH. Use of the Life Optimism Test among adolescents in a clinical setting: a report of reliability testing. J Adolesc Health. 1997 Oct; 21(4):218-20.
  102. Vaughn BL, Knight JR. Self-induced vomiting as a presentation of abdominal mass. Pediatrics. 1997 May; 99(5):731-3.
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Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR)

The mission of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Boston Children's Hospital is to be the leading source of new discoveries in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of substance-related disorders in children and adolescents.

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