Submitted by: 02/06/2008

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded $2.2 million in grants to six state-provider partnerships through Advancing Recovery: State/Provider Partnerships for Quality Addiction Care, the foundation's initiative to improve the quality of alcohol and drug addiction treatment in the United States by promoting the use of evidence-based practices.

Advancing Recovery is co-directed by David Gustafson of the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and A. Thomas McLellan from the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Philadelphia.

The six state-provider partnerships in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Texas and West Virginia each received up to $360,000 to participate in a national learning network that will provide technical assistance to improve the delivery of addiction treatment. The two-year grants will support changes by states and service providers to promote the adoption of proven addiction treatment practices. For a list of grant recipients with contact information, visit

Evidence-based practices such as medication-assisted treatment and building the continuum of care from disease onset to recovery are common in the treatment of chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Advancing Recovery is making addiction treatment more like other types of medicine that focus on disease management.

"The first year of Advancing Recovery allowed us to unravel some significant barriers to implementing evidence-based practices and learn about the usefulness of different strategies to address those barriers," says Gustafson. "Round II provides us with an opportunity to build on that learning, re-test those strategies, and develop new strategies that will assist others in the field to increase adoption of practices that improve the quality of addiction treatment."

"Round one taught us so much about the real world problems faced by providers and state agencies in implementing sustained positive changes in clinical practices and in system financing, regulation and purchasing," says McLellan. "Round two promises to be even better since our first round states will be valuable partners in developing practical strategies."

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 23 million Americans age 12 and older need treatment for substance use disorders and addictions. But less than 10 percent of them actually receive treatment and among those who do, very few have access to quality treatment services.

The partnerships selected through Advancing Recovery will focus on five categories to improve treatment quality, including the use of medications for specific diagnoses; screening and brief intervention in primary care settings; specific psychosocial clinical interventions; post-treatment care; and case management, wraparound and supportive services. 

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