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Since the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) began in 1974, great things have been happing in the treatment of Addictions. For more than two decades, research programs funded by the NIDA have produced dramatic advances in our understanding of drug abuse and addiction.

These new advances have led to the development of an array of new treatments and evidence-based therapies. However, the efficacy of these therapies for drug addiction has been demonstrated primarily in specialized research settings, with somewhat restricted patient populations. In order to fulfill NIDA’s total mission, advances achieved in drug abuse research centers must reach patients in the community-based settings where most treatment is provided.

Beginning in 2000, in an effort to enhance the delivery of scientifically based treatments to drug abuse patients, NIDA established the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). The CTN is at the cutting-edge of improving the quality of drug treatment in the United States by introducing scientifically proven treatments in community-based treatment programs. It has enabled rapid, concurrent testing of a wide range of promising behavioral therapies, medications, and their combined use across a range of populations, treatment settings, and community environments. Along with the CTN studies, SSTAR has been involved in pharmaceutical research studies, which has allowed us to be on the forefront of revolutionary drug treatment options.

SSTAR was invited to partner with Mclean Hospital of Harvard University and four other community treatment programs (CTPs) across New England to form what is known as the New England Node. SSTAR is currently involved in many clinical trials and has completed multiple other others to date. These studies not only afford us the professional and intellectual fulfillment of working with the nation’s best academic researchers, but also allow us to provide no cost, cutting-edge treatment to our patients. If you are interested in learning more about research at SSTAR, please email us at: [email protected] You can also click the tabs on the left to find out more about the ongoing research studies here at SSTAR.

Research Projects at SSTAR

CTN-0100 RDD

Optimizing Retention, Duration and Discontinuation Strategies for Opioid Use Disorder Pharmacotherapy

Currently Recruiting!


Evaluates different medications for opioid use disorder including sublingual and injectable buprenorphine and injectable naltrexone for patients entering or re-entering treatment with the goal of improving use of medications and retaining patients in care.


Evaluates approaches to tapering medication for opioid use disorder using sublingual and injectable buprenorphine and injectable naltrexone for patients in remission from opioid use disorder who want to discontinue medication.
Contact: (508)324-3522 or [email protected]


Contingency Management with PrEP Adherence and Support Services

Currently Recruiting!

Examines whether contingency management increases uptake of and adherence to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in people who inject drugs
Contact: Blaire Simas at (508)536-8989

Project MOCHA

Methadone: Observing Changes in Health and Appetite

Currently Recruiting!

Explores associations between cravings, mood, physical activity and food choices in patients initiating methadone maintenance therapy for opioid use disorder.

Contact: Vincent Cicalese at (401)450-5045

Project TOPPS

Treating Opioid Patients’ Pain and Sadness

Currently Recruiting!

Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and in collaboration with Boston University, Project TOPPS is a research study comparing two different behavioral therapy programs to reduce chronic pain among patients who receive buprenorphine (Suboxone).

If you are interested in hearing more or finding out if you are eligible, please call (508) 235-7083. The study is planning to recruit through August of 2022.


Patient-Reported Outcome Measure

Recruitment starting soon!

Researchers at SSTAR and Brandeis University are developing a tool to assess our patient reported outcomes in opiate use disorder. This study is working with patients who are prescribed buprenorphine and are enrolled in a treatment program at SSTAR.

Research Projects at SSTAR (Completed)


PartnerCHESS incorporates key features of Alcohol Behavioral Couples Therapy into the A-CHESS app (mobile recovery support system for alcohol dependence). SSTAR partnered with the University of Wisconsin, Madison to determine if it can help committed couples, where one of the partners has alcohol use disorder. This study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Project TREC

Transforming Recovery through Exercise and Community
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Project TREC was a research study aimed at developing an effective, peer-facilitated physical activity program for low-active individuals in methadone maintenance at SSTAR Lifeline. The study was a collaboration between SSTAR and Butler Hospital in Providence, RI.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Research Articles