Jaffey, Bennett, Kerlikowske, Botticelli: Our official and unofficial czars The other day one of our interns asked me where we came up with the term “drug czar” and I shrugged and said I imagined it was a relic of the 70s when we first declared a national War on Drugs and needed some iron fists to […]

benzo podium sign use

Patient education about benzodiazepines is key Here at IRETA, we’ve been thinking about patient safety in medication-assisted treatment for a number of years, and have more recently zeroed in on the issue of benzodiazepine use among methadone and buprenorphine patients. We’ve heard from providers that their patients need educational materials about benzodiazepine use, so we put together […]


Tracking progress on our home state’s efforts to modernize our PDMP Editor’s note: As information related to PA’s PDMP becomes available, we are sharing it on the IRETA Blog.  This post will be updated frequently.  Feel free to email relevant news and information to   Recent news Prescription drug registry would help cut deaths […]

collage of feelings

A spring webinar series on Motivational Interviewing techniques It’s one thing to receive training in the evidence-based practice of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and quite another to actually do SBIRT. SBIRT sounds great.  Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the […]

Photo: The Sentencing Project

How can we use what we know about women and the War on Drugs to create real drug policy reform? In our first installment about women, addiction, and the criminal justice system, we shared some stark facts about the impact of “War on Drugs” policies on American women.  Here are two: The number of women […]

Fruit mocktail. Credit: cherrylet

Non-alcoholic bars are cool, say the Brits. Will we follow suit? The owners of the upcoming Counterfeit Bar in Phoenix, AZ say yes. In the UK, there’s a new craze.  It’s not in music, theatre, art, or fashion, per the usual Brit trendsetting. It’s in their nightlife. An alcohol-free nightlife. Non-alcoholic bars are popping up […]


Aided by IRETA, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections develops performance measures for prison mental health services The past five years have seen an increasing number of state initiatives that deal with what have proven to be costly, ineffective, and unjust approaches to incarceration over the last few decades.  The Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), a […]


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