Recognizing the need to address the enormous problems caused by alcohol and drug abuse, the University of Washington established the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute in October of 1973 as an interdisciplinary research center in the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center. From its beginning, the mission of the Institute has been to conduct and support substance abuse research at the University of Washington, and disseminate research findings in substance abuse. The activities of the Institute may be described under three general headings:
- Intramural research by ADAI Research Scientists supported through federal, state, and other grants and contracts.
- Stimulation and support of alcohol and drug related research by faculty and researchers in departments throughout the University through a Small Grants Program. Since 1973, ADAI has awarded more than three million dollars to researchers in 40 University departments, for approximately 350 projects. Many of those funded projects led to outside funding for expanded research, bringing in tens of millions of research dollars to the University.
- Dissemination of research findings through its Library and Information Service, publications and presentations by ADAI scientists, numerous websites, news blogs, listservs, newsletters, conferences and symposia.
The Institute receives financial support from the State of Washington under state Initiative 171, which mandates that a portion of fees collected for certain state liquor licenses be allocated to the two state research universities for research on alcohol and drug abuse, and dissemination of research information. The University of Washington provides additional funding. Research studies are funded primarly through grants and contracts awarded by federal and state agencies, and private foundations.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute serves as a focal point for alcohol and drug abuse research at the University of Washington and in the region, benefiting the citizens of Washington State by expanding our knowledge and making information available to health and social service professionals and policy makers. The Institute’s multidisciplinary staff of clinical and social psychologists, sociologists, epidemiologists, public health experts, educators, and librarians plays a key role in working to understand and reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drug abuse.
ADAI HOC Team
Dr. Donovan is Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine. He has over 30 years of clinical and research experience in the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment, including implementing and evaluating evidence-based practices into community-based programs as the PI of the Pacific Northwest Node of the NIDA National Drug Treatment Clinical Trials Network. As a member of the American Indian Research Group (AIR), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, he was involved in a long-term, prospective, longitudinal cohort study to identify risk and protective factors for, and measure the prevalence of, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and psychopathology in 523 Indian youth and 276 adult Indian women over a 10-year period. Dr. Donovan subsequently served from 1993 -1998 as a member of the Advisory Council for the combined Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) and United Indians of All Tribes Foundation’s (UIATF) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Nations Project: Reducing Substance Abuse among Native Americans.
Dr. Thomas is a member of the Tlingit Tribes and is a Research Scientist at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. She has been working with Native communities for over twenty-five years. Dr. Thomas’ research focuses on the use of Community Based Participatory Research methodologies to work in partnership with AIAN communities to increase health equity and promote good mental health and wellness. Dr. Thomas also works on a number of other projects with Tribes and Native organizations in the PNW including serving as PI on a series of Native mental health and health priorities conferences and summits funded by NIMHD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was Principal Investigator of the NIDA funded project Native Pathways to Sobriety: Pacific Northwest Oral Life Histories. Recently she began serving as Co-Director of the Indigenous Protocols and Research Ethics Division at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, UW. Dr. Thomas is past chair of APA’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, past chair of APA’s Div 18 Psychologists in Indian Country, past Co-Chair of the Native Research Network, past Member-at-Large (Native slate) for Division 45 of APA (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues), newsletter editor for APA’s Div 35 AIAN/Indigenous Women section, and co-chair of SAMHSA’s Native American Center for Excellence Expert Panel. Dr. Thomas has two wonderful sons ages 22 and 13.
Lisette Austin, MA
Lisette Austin earned a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in 1996, with a focus on medical anthropology and substance abuse research. Following her degree, Ms. Austin worked at the University of Washington’s Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit, serving as liaison to northwest tribal communities and providing education to tribes about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She has since worked on a number of research projects both at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Prior to joining the Healing of the Canoe team in 2006, she spent two years at the UW Addictive Behaviors Research Center, working on a collaborative project with the Seattle Indian Health Board to promote healthy life skills among Urban American Indian youth. The resulting curriculum, Canoe’s Journey, Life’s Journey, is the same curriculum that the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes chose to adapt as part of the Healing of the Canoe Project. Lisette lives in Seattle with her husband and son.