“Rethinking Alcohol Use Disorders: Science, Diagnosis, Treatment and Policy”

NIAAA Track at APA Annual Meeting Press Briefing


Arlington, Va. – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) will highlight the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) track “Rethinking Alcohol Use Disorders: Science, Diagnosis, Treatment and Policy” at the 159 th Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, at a press briefing on Tuesday, May 23, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Panelists will include Mark Willenbring , M.D., Director, Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, NIAAA, and other presenters from the NIAAA research track. 

Highlights of the NIAAA track [i]:


Managing Complex Comorbid Psychiatric and Alcohol Use Disorders in Psychiatric Practice

Psychiatrists frequently encounter patients with complex combinations of substance use and both Axis I and Axis II psychiatric disorders. This workshop is focused on the practical aspects of managing such patients, including how to integrate psychiatric and substance use treatments over time.   Participants are encouraged to bring case examples to discuss.

Issue Workshop IW003, North Level 200, Room 206 E/F

Taking Science to Policy: Efforts to Reduce Harms Related to Alcohol Misuse 

From underage drinking to excessive drinking among young adults through severe dependence and co-occurring psychiatric disorders, research has produced practical tools for intervening in academic, primary care, trauma and psychiatric treatment settings.  What kind of treatment system is necessary to implement evidence-based practices?

Symposium S026 – 2:00-5:00 p.m., Royal York, Mezzanine Floor, Manitoba Room

What Have We Learned About Alcoholism From Animal Models?

Progress in finding the answers to key questions in alcohol research has been significantly aided by the development of animal models that allow investigators to study the effects of alcohol in ways not possible with human subjects. This Special Address highlights the alcohol research accomplishments made possible by animal models and discusses the potential for improved animal models to further advance our understanding of alcohol-related illnesses and improve methods for preventing, diagnosing, and treating alcohol problems.  Special Address by Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director, NIAAA

9:00 a.m. – South Level 700, Room 718 A/B

Screening, Diagnosis, and Management of Alcohol Use Disorders in Psychiatric Practice

This session focuses on (1) screening, assessing, and managing AUD treatment using NIAAA’s Clinician’s Guide; (2) strategies to enhance patient motivation and integrate pharmacotherapy; and (3) the latest information on meeting the addiction medicine needs of patients in a general psychiatric practice.

Symposium S038 –2:00-5:00 p.m. –North Level 200, Room 206 E/F

Pharmacogenetics of Alcoholism: Are We There Yet?

As medications have come to play a greater role in the management of alcohol use disorders, interest has grown in identifying potential genetic moderators of medication response.  This remains, however, an underdeveloped area of investigation. This presentation will discuss approaches being used to identify genes that moderate the response to pharmacotherapy among individuals with alcohol use disorders. Frontiers of Science Lecture by Henry Kranzler, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of ConnecticutSchool of Medicine

2:00 p.m., North Level 300, Exhibit Hall A


Combining Neuroimaging and Pharmacology to Better Treat Alcoholism

Alcohol researchers are using new imaging technologies to study brain function in vivo, including studies of craving in response to cue exposure and changes in mu-opioid receptor availability in response to treatment with the medication naltrexone.  Karl F. Mann, M.D., Department of Addiction Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany

9:00 a.m., North Level 300, Exhibit Hall A

A University President’s Perspective on Alcohol-Related Research

Can alcohol research help to resolve a contemporary crisis?  A former college president presents lessons learned from the application of college drinking intervention research.  Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., Professor and President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame

11 a.m., North Level 300, Exhibit Hall A

Aolescent Alcohol Use Disorders and Psychiatric Comorbidity

A significant proportion of U.S. adolescents receiving treatment for alcohol abuse or dependence manifest psychiatric and other substance abuse comorbidities.  The psychiatric assessment and management of these adolescents presents a significant challenge. This symposium will emphasize practical evidence-based approaches to help clinicians assess and treat adolescent alcohol use disorders and specific comorbidities.

Symposium S082, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., South Level 700, Room 716 A

All sessions are embargoed until date and time of session.

[i] Presentations are located in the Toronto Convention Centre unless otherwise specified.