Cincinnati--The Cincinnati Addiction Research Center (CinARC) of the
University of Cincinnati is using teamwork and the latest in research
techniques to find new, more effective treatments for substance abuse,
particularly for cocaine and opiates such as heroin and oxycontin.
Eugene Somoza, MD, PhD together with Theresa Winhusen, PhD lead the
local research team, comprised of a group of experts in substance
abuse. They have been working together for six years. During the past
year, CinARC has obtained two grants totaling about $22 million of
funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
grants are The Clinical Trials Network (CTN) grant and the Clinical
Trials Operation (CTO) grant. The CTN grant is a five-year, $12 million
grant whose principal goal is to help bridge the gap between research
and practice in drug addiction treatment. The CTO grant is a five year
$9.8 million grant whose goal is to conduct phase-I and phase-II
clinical trials to discover a pharmacological treatment for cocaine
"With these two grants, CinARC is putting Greater
Cincinnati at the forefront of addiction research," Somoza said. "In
conjunction with NIDA and the Cincinnati and Dayton VA Medical Centers,
UC is now conducting larger scale studies than ever before."
funding is being used to conduct studies on three trial medications,
all of which are already FDA approved for other indications. Studies,
to determine the effectiveness of these medications for treating drug
addiction, are being conducted at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati
and at the VA Medical Center in Dayton. CinARC is currently recruiting
patients for these clinical trials.
addicted to cocaine/crack are put through a thorough two-week screening
process. Eligible participants are randomly divided into two groups,
one group receiving a trial medication and one group receiving a
placebo. During the study, participants attend clinic visits three
times a week for monitoring with one visit each week, including an
individual relapse prevention counseling session with a master's degree
level therapist. At the end of the studies, data from the two groups
will be compared to see if there is a significant difference in their
levels of cocaine use. Please call (513) 487-6662 for information about
participating in these trials in either Cincinnati or Dayton.
also collaborates with six regional community treatment programs, which
make up the "Ohio Valley Node" of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. The
six collaborating teams include Comprehensive Addiction Service Systems
in Toledo, Ohio; The Crossroads Center in Cincinnati, Ohio; Jefferson
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center in Louisville, Ky.; Maryhaven, Inc. in
Columbus, Ohio; Midtown Community Mental Health Center in Indianapolis,
Ind. and Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Inc. in
"The goal of these collaborations is to develop
evidence-based treatments through clinical trials for drug-dependent
patients," Somoza explained. "Two clinical trials are now being
conducted, one at Midtown in Indianapolis and the other at Maryhaven in
Columbus. Both of these are evaluating a medication called
buprenorphine for detoxifying patients who are dependent on opiates
such as heroin and oxycontin."
Through this collaboration, the
community treatment centers are better able to alert the researchers to
real world problems encountered in the process of treating
drug-dependent patients and to alert the researchers of problems that
need to be solved using scientific principles.
This Ohio Valley
Node is part of a national effort to develop evidence-based treatments
for substance abuse. There are currently 14 such nodes in the country
encompassing 90 community treatment centers and 14 research