Author Archives: iretablog

two year old

We’re Two Today!

Celebrating IRETA Blog’s birthday (Downside: no cupcakes. Upside: no noisemakers.) Hello, friends!  Welcome to our second birthday party. Thanks for being here today and (perhaps) on other days over the past two years.  How the time does fly. We are the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA).  Established in 1999, IRETA works toward the […]


Updates on a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Pennsylvania

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 In state, data-sharing prescription drug legislation stalls […]


The scarlet letter A, this time for addiction

Patients want to trust that their physicians aren’t judging them or talking about them behind their backs Getting the opportunity to come back to Pittsburgh after four years of undergraduate work there was incredible. The city has come so far;  it’s slowly growing into one of the more popular destinations in the nation and I […]

Hospital SBIRT image

Hospital SBIRT: The Reasons

Are you trying to make the case for the use of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment in a hospital setting? Maybe we can help. Last year, we released a one page snapshot on the six R’s that support the use of SBIRT in hospitals. What are those R’s? Rules, Reimbursement, Reform, Results, Retention, Resources. […]


Using Behavioral Economics to Understand Addiction

Why might individuals behave in ways that are known to have dire consequences for their long-term health and happiness? Behavioral economics provides a framework to understand when and how people make mistakes. It’s a new field that blends psychology and economics and can provide valuable insights as to why individuals do not behave in their own best […]

8 Things Your PCP Should Know About SUDs

8 Things a Primary Care Doctor Should Know About Working with People with Substance Use Disorders

Your ongoing relationship with your patient makes you the ideal person to monitor substance use and refer to specialty treatment as needed The latest issue of The Bridge, an e-publication of the National Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, focused a very meaningful topic for us at IRETA: how can we get folks to actually do SBIRT? […]


Hookah Use Growing Among Young Adults, Harms Underestimated

Risks, regulation, and popular images of smoking waterpipes Pro-tobacco forces have taken repetitive and expensive hits in the past several decades. While nearly 45 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes in the 1950s, only 18.1 percent do today. In post-Bloomberg New York City, cigarettes are taxed at 75 percent. Now hookah, after years of hiding in dark and […]

IRETA Integration Infographic

Infographic: Why Mainstream Healthcare Can’t Ignore Substance Use

We cannot ignore the role that substances play in physical and behavioral health. As such, we need to have the broadest approach to substance use possible, which means addressing substances in all facets of society, especially medical care settings. Addressing substance use in medical care settings is part of health promotion, prevention, and early intervention. Solutions: […]

Holly Hagle 7 6 2011

Let’s be sensitive to the messages we hear about pills

Distributing candy pills at a behavioral health conference was a marketing faux pas. We can use it to spark change that will save lives. I recently attended a large national behavioral health conference and was absolutely elated to see a growing public interest in behavioral health issues, so much so that over 4,000 attendees from across the country gathered in one […]

Louisiana National Guard at full operational status. Credit: Chuck Simmins

Understanding the relationship between military culture and substance use can improve prevention and treatment

The Army National Guard and access to substance use services The 2008 film The Hurt Locker begins with the line: “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”   Violence, trauma, and addiction are often glamorized–sure, war on the screen can give us a rush–but there really isn’t […]


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