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UCLA Integrative Center for Addictive Disorders

Addiction disorders represent the leading preventable disease in the world, and cause profound human suffering. Addiction is a neuropsychiatric disease that occurs in many forms, from drug and alcohol abuse, to gambling and overeating behaviors. The pain and depression resulting from addiction threatens the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Addictive disorders are treatable and curable.

The UCLA Integrative Center for Addictive Disorders (UCLA-ICAD) is a research, treatment, education and outreach program developing new medications and strategies to conquer the causes, behaviors, and effects of addiction.

UCLA-ICAD is a state of the art, multidisciplinary research and treatment consortium consisting of five nodes of addiction research and clinical centers within UCLA’s Westwood campus. These nodes incorporate:

  • The Shirley and Stefan Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, a basic-research unit located within the David Geffen School of Medicine. The center studies reward pathways and their interaction with pain and depression. Research is conducted in the area of opioid drugs, nicotine and psychostimulants (amphetamine and cocaine), and identification of the genetic loci confer that leads to susceptibility for addiction-related phenotypes. Director: Christopher J. Evans
  • The Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, a clinical and community-based research unit that assesses medications in clinical trials and develops pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies to treat addiction in the community. The problems addressed include opioid, nicotine, psychostimulant and cannabis addiction. Co-Directors: Christine Grella and Larissa Mooney
  • The Addiction Imaging Group uses its world-class brain imaging facilities to apply molecular, structural and functional imaging techniques to understand adaptations that accompany substance use disorders and identify characteristics for susceptibility to addictions.  A specialty of the program is the application of multimodal imaging and the development of new imaging probes. Director: Edythe D. London
  • The Addiction Medicine Clinic provides medication-management services for individuals suffering from problems with alcohol; opioids and heroin; cocaine and amphetamines; marijuana; gambling; and compulsive behaviors. Director: Timothy Fong

UCLA is an internationally recognized research and treatment center for addictive disorders. UCLA ranks as the top institute in the Western US and within the top 3 institutes in the continental US for research funding from both the National Institute of Drug Abuse (the major source of federal funds for addiction research) and the National Institute of Mental Health (the major source of federal funding for mental health research).

In the past, UCLA researchers have: created the nicotine patch for smoking treatment; proved that secondhand smoke can affect brain chemistry and function; cloned brain targets for opiate drugs; identified brain targets for alcohol abuse; done the first imaging studies of drug craving in humans; developed the Matrix Model for addiction treatment; introduced addiction services in many parts of the world including Vietnam, Egypt, Iraq, South Africa, and China; and led efforts for WHO, the UN, the Department of State, and the State of California to develop and implement innovative alternatives to incarceration for drug users in criminal justice systems.