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A Brief History of the Division on Addiction
During 1990, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) planning committee recommended the creation of a division to direct the school’s educational, medical, and scientific resources toward alleviating the vast and complex array of public heath problems caused by addictive behaviors. This mandate led to the 1992 opening of the Division on Addiction (formerly known as the Division on Addictions; the Division) at Harvard Medical School under the Direction of Steven Hyman, M.D., who later would become the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Upon Dr. Hyman’s departure, Howard Shaffer, Ph.D., became the Director of the Division during 1995. The Harvard Medical School assigned Dr. Shaffer and the Division with the task of coordinating research, education, training, and communication relevant to substance abuse at HMS and its primary affiliated teaching hospitals.
Over the years, the Division deepened and broadened its scope both within and outside the university. The Division has provided a critical link between HMS students, the clinical and research scientists at Harvard, other medical education communities, and the lay public. Through its continuing medical education, faculty development courses, research collaborations with other HMS and non-HMS faculty, fellowship training programs, and visiting scholars program, the Division continues to have a meaningful influence on the public health and medical communities. Further, The Division is reaching additional communities through its public forums, public education activities, middle school curriculum development, and high school student internship program.
Now located within the Department of Psychiatry at The Cambridge Health Alliance, one of Harvard Medical School’s Teaching Affiliates. Dr. Debi LaPlante has joined Dr. Shaffer as the Director of Research and Academic Affairs. The Division’s recent work has resulted in groundbreaking research in a variety of areas, including the epidemiology of addiction and co-occurring disorders, as well as technology based programs to assess and intervene with repeat drunken drivers and Internet gamblers. The Division has been a leader in advancing theory driven approaches to the study and treatment of addiction; division faculty members have published hundreds of scholarly publications that are advancing our understanding of addiction. Most notably, Division researchers proposed the ‘Syndrome Model’ to help explain the trajectory of addictive behavior (Shaffer et al., 2004) and this work will be summarized in the forthcoming two volume Handbook from the American Psychological Association, the APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook (Shaffer, LaPlante, & Nelson, in press-a, in press-b).
Please explore the rest of our website for details related to Division publications, projects, educational opportunities, and other activities!
Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., LaBrie, R. A., Kidman, R. C., Donato, A. N., & Stanton, M. V. (2004). Toward a syndrome model of addiction: multiple expressions, common etiology. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 12(6), 367-374.
Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., & Nelson, S. E. (Eds.). (in press-a). The APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook (Vol. 1. Foundations, Influences, and Expressions of Addiction). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.
Shaffer, H. J., LaPlante, D. A., & Nelson, S. E. (Eds.). (in press-b). The APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook (Vol. 2. Recovery, Prevention, and Other Issues). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press
2012 Lifetime Achievement Award - Nomination Deadline Extended
The Division on Addiction seeks nominations for its 2012
Lifetime Achievement Award. Nominations are welcome from any interested
party and nominees can reside anywhere in the world. The Lifetime
Achievement Award is given to individuals who have made sustained,
outstanding, and unusually significant contributions to the study and
treatment of addiction throughout a career.
Stay tuned for our 20th anniversary activities during December!
The Division is pleased to announce the following people will receive a copy of Anne Fletcher's forthcoming book, Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth about Addiction Treatment - and How to Get Help that Works - Leslie Bodvar, Libby Eberhardt, Kathie Gillet, Linda Hutton, Patricia Lewis, Stephen Merritt, Nenita Peralta, Nanciellen Poulin, Judith Powsner, Edward Rubin, Andrea Ryan, David Summersby, Stephen Whiting, and seven others. Thank you for celebrating our 20th anniversary with us!
For the 12 months of 2012, the Division will be giving away 20 things each month. Check back often for other great addiction-related giveaways. Join the celebration!
January: 20 Copies of Change your Gambling, Change your Life, by Dr. Howard Shaffer, Ryan Martin, John Kleschinsky, and Liz Neporent
Please stay tuned for the giveaways for the rest of the year!
Upcoming Anniversary Events
Support the Work of the Division
The Division on Addiction needs your help to better understand addiction, and to offer the training and educational programs that will lead to better prevention and treatment efforts. Your support can help us to strengthen worldwide understanding of addiction through innovative research, education, and the global exchange of information. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering, contributing, or otherwise supporting the efforts of the Division.