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Reaching consensus on research needs and priorities: Oregon's stakeholders working to improve substance abuse treatment

1 August 2001


In the past five years, attention has focused on identifying priority substance abuse research needs. This report contains a compilation of Oregon's substance abuse treatment needs and specific research questions based on available stakeholder documents as of June 2001.

This study also matches identified substance abuse research needs to recently completed and currently funded research initiatives in Oregon. Comparisons reveal that the state's research endeavors focus primarily on substance abuse prevention, adolescent treatment, and on partnerships and community mobilization. The majority of basic science endeavors focus on the biochemical effects of alcohol on the brain. Some responsiveness exits to research needs in the areas of client access and retention, treatment outcomes, Native American community needs, dual diagnosis, systems research, and on treatment provider needs. However, very little research in Oregon attempts to address needs related to family-based treatment, residential treatment, transition, or focuses on effectively treating the state's incarcerated, minority, disabled, or elderly populations. A need to evaluate Oregon's changing system of care was also highlighted.

The process by which Oregon stakeholders will decide future research priorities is, unclear. Values of leading national substance abuse research organizations were compiled and revealed twenty-six criteria by which research needs might be prioritized. These criteria were adapted into a research priority-rating tool. Some Oregon stakeholders evaluated the usefulness of this tool and results are discussed. Above all, the goal of this study is to help promote meaningful action that addresses the most pressing needs of Oregon's consumers of substance abuse services.


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