The first decade of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network: bridging the gap between research and practice to improve drug abuse treatment.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse established the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) in 1999 to improve the quality of addiction treatment using science as the vehicle. The network brings providers from community-based drug abuse treatment programs and scientists from university-based research centers together in an alliance that fosters bidirectional communication and collaboration. Collaboration enhanced the relevance of research to practice and facilitated the development and implementation of evidence-based treatments in community practice settings. The CTN's 20 completed trials tested pharmacological, behavioral, and integrated treatment interventions for adolescents and adults; more than 11,000 individuals participated in the trials. This article reviews the rationale for the CTN, describes the translation of its guiding principles into research endeavors, and anticipates the future evolution of clinical research within the Network.