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Ex-White House Drug Czar McCaffrey, U.S. Congress Drug Caucus Chair Cummings, CRC Health CEO Karlin Join Hopkins Researchers at News Conference April 17 on Breakthrough Study: Internet Video Drug Treatment as Effective as Traditional Counseling
Date:4/13/2009

BALTIMORE, FRI., APRIL 17, 10AM, INSTITUTES FOR BEHAVIOR RESOURCES, 2104 MARYLAND AVE.

Demonstration During Event; Major New Tool to Reach Additional Victims

BALTIMORE, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey, the former White House Drug Czar, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Balt), Chair of the Congressional Drug Policy Caucus, and Dr. Barry Karlin, CEO of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest substance abuse treatment provider, join Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Institute for Behavioral Resources researchers and state and local drug treatment officials Friday, April 17, in announcing a new report showing that live, Internet-based chemical dependency treatment, including video interaction in group settings, is as effective as traditional approaches to delivering counseling. The higher rate of counseling attendance for patients in the Internet-assisted group supports using this new tool to help programs reach additional people suffering from substance abuse problems. According to the federal department of HHS, 20 million people suffer from drug abuse but less than five million receive treatment.

The authors of the important new report, the first scientifically controlled study comparing Internet-based versus traditionally delivered counseling in treatment programs, published in the April issue of The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, will announce and discuss their findings. General McCaffrey, Congressman Cummings, Dr. Karlin, and other officials and experts will discuss some of the potential implications to reduce the nation's and Baltimore's drug treatment gap.

The event, Friday, April 17 at 10AM, will be at the Institutes for Behavior Resources (IBR), 2104 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor Conference room, Baltimore, MD 21218. Media is welcome.

The report is published in an article entitled, "Assessing the Effectiveness of an Internet-based Videoconferencing Platform for Delivering Intensified Substance Abuse Counseling." The authors are Van King, M.D. (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Kenneth Stoller, M.D. (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Michael Kodorf, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Ron Kindbom, M.A., (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), Steven Hursh, Ph.D. (Institutes of Behavioral Resources), Thomas Brady, M.D. (CRC Health Group, Cupertino, CA), and Robert K. Brooner, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine).

During the news conference, the model Internet-based program, provided by CRC Health Group's eGetgoing division, will be demonstrated.

The study assessed internet and traditional counseling for opioid-dependent patients receiving methadone. The study reported that while expanded traditional counseling can improve response to treatment, patients using the Internet video platform had reduced time and confidentiality concerns compared to those associated with routine opioid treatment. By allowing patients to participate from home, there was enhanced support for the "convenience and increased confidentiality" with the Internet video technique. The report asserts that "integrating Internet group counseling with on-site treatment" makes the "continuum of care" available to a much wider audience, thus helping to reduce the treatment gap. The report recognizes that one glove does not fit all and that the ongoing responsibility in the struggle against drug addiction is to find many paths to treatment that fit and support the uniqueness of the individual.

Also attending will be Maryland Department of Health Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health and Disabilities Renata Henry and Gregory Warren, Executive Director and Treatment Coordinator for Baltimore City Substance Abuse Systems in the Maryland Department of Health.

Contact: Bob Weiner/Rebecca Vander Linde 301-283-0821/202-329-1700


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SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates and Institutes for Behavior Resources
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