A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. Returns to Treatment Research Institute after White House Position

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Top researcher and proponent of science-based solutions to substance abuse re-assumes TRI leadership after post in Obama-Biden Administration

TRI researchers introduce science-backed solutions to the devastating problems of substance abuse affecting families, schools, businesses, courts, labor groups and healthcare.

The Treatment Research Institute (TRI) announces that A. Thomas McLellan, PhD has returned to continue his leadership role as CEO.

The Treatment Research Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and providing evidence-based solutions to the devastating problems of substance abuse affecting families, schools, businesses, courts and healthcare. Its investigators are internationally recognized leaders in the field, and TRI research results are regularly part of state, federal and international substance use policies and practices.

Dr. McLellan is a 35-year career researcher in addiction who has published over 400 articles on the topic and has received numerous distinguished awards for his contributions to the field. McLellan co-founded the Treatment Research Institute in 1992 and served as its Director until 2009 when he was unanimously confirmed as Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In that position he co-authored the President's National Drug Control Strategy and helped to integrate substance abuse prevention and treatment into the national healthcare reform legislation.

Carolyn Asbury, PhD, Chair of the TRI Board of Directors, says, "Dr. McLellan's knowledge of translational research, clinical practices, and policy-making will accelerate TRI’s impact at this transformational moment in healthcare. His re-appointment could not be more timely and important."

The Treatment Research Institute was recently recognized as one of Philadelphia’s “Top Workplaces,” a distinction that reflects the organization’s commitment to collaboration and excellence.

"I am extremely excited to return to TRI. There is no other translational research organization like it in our field. The Treatment Research Institute has an exceptional cadre of researchers who produce solid research findings – but they take the additional step of engineering those findings into practical, cost-effective clinical practices and policies,” says McLellan. "There is no more competent or dedicated group in our field. I am truly proud and grateful to be able to resume a leadership role with them,” he said.

He added: "The size and severity of the substance abuse problem (60 million “harmful using” adults; over 23 million addicted to drugs or alcohol) has made the public skeptical and cynical. Many think that substance abuse problems are inevitable and intractable. That is simply wrong. Research has produced incredible advances in this field, but those advances have not yet been available to the public. This is TRI’s special mission and the time for it is now.”

“Research has produced smarter prevention, more efficient early interventions, better and more sustained treatment outcomes, and wiser policies,” he went on to say. “Now, parents want to learn how to prepare their children to turn away from drugs and how to get the best treatment when their adolescents need it. Doctors want to know how to detect and intervee to reduce early-onset alcohol and drug problems (both may be affecting the quality and costs of primary care). Courts and community corrections want to adopt more effective and inexpensive methods for managing drug-related offenders. We have better solutions through science– putting them into practice is what drives our work at TRI,” he concluded.

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Bonnie Catone

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