Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit

The CARE Unit is an academic unit in the Section of General Internal Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center.

Mission Statement

The Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit conducts research, educates health professionals, provides health care, and informs clinical and public health practice and policy to improve the lives of people with unhealthy alcohol and other drug use.


Alissa Cruz, MPH
CARE Unit Manager

Upcoming Events:

Journal Club: December 20, 2017

Recent CARE Unit News:

Addiction is Here | So is BMC

Boston Medical Center received a $25 million gift from the Grayken family, that was used to create the BMC Grayken Center for Addiction. The CARE Unit faculty, clinical services, and education and training programs are key components of the Grayken Center for Addiction. Information and updates on the Grayken Center for Addiction can be found at

Former White House Drug Czar To Lead Addiction Medicine Center In Boston

Adolescent Addiction: What Every Parent Should Know (Sarah Bagley, MD, Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, Michael Botticelli)

Professor Honored by Society of General Internal Medicine (Jeffrey Samet, MD, MA, MPH): Jeffrey Samet (’92) received the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Quality and Practice Innovation Award on behalf of the Boston Medical Center (BMC) CARE programs at the SGIM annual meeting in Washington, DC, on April 22.

A Happy Medium: Why Moderation is Key to a Healthy Lifestyle (Timothy Naimi, MOD, MPH)

7 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About the Lethal Dangers of Opioids (Scott Hadland, MD, MPH)

In Drunken-Driving Cases, Melanie’s Law Is Rarely Used (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, Richard Saitz, MD, MPH)

You Draw It: Just How Bad Is the Drug Overdose Epidemic? (Michael Botticelli, executive director, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine; Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

From Dying Wishes To Support For Substance Users: How 5 Health Startups Tackle Tough Problems (Christopher Shanahan, MD, MPH)

People on the Move: Colleen LaBelle (Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN)

Physicians Fight Opioid Abuse Across the Commonwealth (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

Managing Opioid Use Disorders and Chronic Pain (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

In Between Life And Death, Opioid Use Can Cause Dozens Of Injuries (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc) 

Docs Warn that Medicare Crackdown Will Hurt Pain Patients (Jane Liebschutz, MD, MPH)

Naloxone Won’t Rescue Us From The Opioid Epidemic, But It’s A Start (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

Keeping Fentanyl Out of the US Will Take More Than a Wall (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

Substance Use Terminology (Katherine Calver, PhD, Richard Saitz, MD)

Nearly 2,000 Died From Opioid Overdoses In Mass. Last Year (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

POV: More Help Needed for Youngest Victims of Opioid Epidemic (Sarah Bagley, MD, Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, MS)



Half of Youth Car Crash Deaths Involve Alcohol (Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, MS)

Limit Teens’ Saturday-Night Driving, Experts Suggest (Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, MS)

Tougher Alcohol Laws Mean Fewer Young People Killed on the Road (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

New State Rules Are Forcing Opioid Prescribers to Confront ‘Doctor Shopping’ (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

App measures how drunk you are based on how you walk (Timothy Niami, MD, MPH)

Black and Hispanic Opioid Users May Be Less Likely to Continue Treatment (Zoe Weinstein, MD, MS)

GE Puts Philanthropic Muscle Into Opioid Fight (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN)

BMC, Walgreens To Help Adolescents Overcome Addiction (Sarah Bagley, MD)

Exercise May Reduce Alcohol-Related Cancer Risk (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

Opioid Challenge Summit and Hack-a-thon Creates New Solutions to Opioid Academic (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN; Jeffery Samet, MD, MA, MPH)

Alcohol Advertising Linked to Underage Drinking (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

Nurses Step In to Boost Treatment for Opioid Addiction (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN)

Cape Family Joins Push For Stricter OUI Law (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

Family of Fallen Officer: In-car Breathalyzer Necessary For First Offenders Too (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

How Do You Handle Pain Relief If You’re Concerned About Addiction? (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

Medical Marijuana Changing Prescription Practices, Study (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

Pain Expert: Judge the Opioid Treatment, Not the Patient (Dan Alford, MD, MPH)

Giving OD Antidote to Those Using Powerful Painkillers Might Save Lives (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

‘There’s No Detox When You’re Dead’: Boston Wants Users To Get High Under Medical Supervision (Karsten Lunze, MD, MPH, DrPH)

Expanded Naloxone Access Could Help Curb Opioid Deaths (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

What Addiction Science Says About Getting – and Staying – Off Opioids (Jeffery Samet, MD, MA, MPH)

February 2016: Daniel Alford, MD, Named ASAM’s First Educator of the Year
Daniel Alford, MD, a primary care provider at BMC and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, has been named the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s first Educator of the Year winner. The award recognizes an educator who has made outstanding contributions to ASAM’s addiction medicine educational program.

Language of Addiction Itself Can Hurt, Advocates Say (Richard Saitz, MD, MPH)

Expert Argues Benefit of Physicians’ Opioid Prescription Education (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH; Jane Liebschutz MD, MPH)

After Painkiller Overdoses, Patients Continue to Get Drugs (Marc LaRochelle, MD, MPH)

Most Who OD On Opioids are Able to Get New Prescriptions (Marc LaRochelle, MD, MPH)

Quick Questions on a Tablet Spot Drug Trouble (Richard Saitz, MD, MPH)

Suboxone: A Miracle Drug a Merely a Step in the Right Direction? (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN) 


Sheriff Warns that New White House Drug Policy Could Be Boon to Prison Suboxone Smuggling (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc) 

Treating Substance Abuse and Addiction in HIV Patients (Alexander Walley, MD, MPH) 

Experimental Agent Shows Promise for Alcohol Dependence (Richard Saitz, MD, MPH) 

Alcohol Laws Directly Correspond to Drinking Deaths (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH) 

Study Finds State Liquor Laws Saving More Women Than Men (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH) 

‘Motivational interviewing’ has been key to abuse fight (Lee Ellenberg, LICSW) 

Clinton to Promote Plan to Combat Addiction with Spending on Treatment (Jeffrey Samet, MD, MPH, MA)

HIV/AIDS  Symptoms & Treatment: Addiction Therapy Lowers Substance Abuse Among Infected Patients, Study Reveals (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

Alcohol Tax Roils Boston (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

To Combat Drug Abuse, Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN)

Pain Management and the Evolution of the Opioid Crisis (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

Settlement Will Make Narcan More Affordable, Mass AG Says (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH) 

Educating Clinicians Important in Safe Opioid Prescribing (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

Father Says Saugus Store Display Promotes Excessive College Drinking (Richard Saitz, MD) 

AG’s Opioid Proposal Targets Fentanyl Trafficking (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH) 

Boston Hospital to Help R.I., Mass Pharmacies Increase Distribution of Overdose Medications (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc) 

Commission to Seek Painkillers More Resistant To Abuse in Face of Addiction Crisis (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

Despite Efforts, Mass. Opioid Deaths on Pace to Match 2014 (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH, Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN)

Experts Want Expansion of Narcan Education, Distribution (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

I Bought Narcan, And Here’s What I Learned (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc)

“We’re at war, and we’re losing” Officials declare health crisis as overdoses continue to rise (Alexander Walley, MD, MSc) 

Tighter Alcohol Laws Reduce Odds of Underage Drinking, Study Finds (Jason Blanchette, MPH)

Tougher Alcohol Laws for Adults May Also Lower Teen Drinking (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH)

Baker Responds to Plymouth’s Drug Crisis (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH)

Local Physician Recommends World Health Organization Retire the Term Opioid Substitution Therapy (Jeffrey Samet, MD, MA, MPH)

Prescription Drug Abuse is Lower, but Heroin Use Up: Study (Marc LaRochelle, MD, MPH) 

Making a Physical Exam Your Primary Concern (Sheila Chapman, MD) 

Maura Healey Puts Docs, Clinics on Notice (Daniel Alford, MD, MPH) 

Drugs to Treat Addiction Work, But Carry a Stigma (Colleen LaBelle, RN, CARN)

State Gets Serious About Opiate Abuse (Daniel Alford, MPH, MPH) 

As You Were Saying…Raise Glass to a Fairer Alcohol Tax (Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, Jason Blanchette, MPH)