Society Lecture 2015: Integrating treatment for substance use disorders into mainstream medicine: Who benefits?

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Dr Thomas McLellan

A Thomas McLellan, PhD

Dr McLellan has been a career researcher for 35 years with the Treatment Research Institute (which he co-founded in 1992) and the University of Pennsylvania.  In his career he has published over 400 articles and chapters on addiction research.  He has received several distinguished awards including Life Achievement Awards from the American, Swedish, Italian and British Societies of Addiction Medicine and most recently from the American Public Health Association (2010).

During 2009 – 2011 Dr McLellan was the senate-confirmed Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, where he was one of the principal authors of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy.

Dr McLellan holds a BA from Colgate University and his MS and PhD from Bryn Mawr College.  He received postgraduate training in psychology at Oxford University in England.



The presentation is comprised of three parts.   Part 1 reviews the clinical, scientific, and ethical bases for integrating the prevention, treatment and management of substance use disorders within general medical settings.   Part 2 examines available evidence suggesting why such an integrated approach has the potential for improved effectiveness and reduced costs of care for individuals with primary substance use problems.  Part 3 reviews the prevalence and effects of secondary substance use problems within the large populations of patients with various, primary chronic illnesses.  The presentation concludes with an argument that the most significant potential for benefits from the described integrated approach will accrue to general healthcare, through elevation of clinician diagnostic and treatment management skills, improved effectiveness and reduced untoward effects from contemporary treatments and significant reductions in costs of care.  


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