Harm Reduction and Addiction Treatment Lab

Harm Reduction and Addiction Treatment Lab
Nancy A. Haug, Ph.D.
Research Program
Dr. Haug’s clinical research program is focused on adapting and disseminating psychosocial and behavioral interventions such as mindfulness for the treatment of drug addiction. She has worked with underserved and complex populations such as pregnant and postpartum women, opioid users with HIV/AIDS, and psychiatric patients with co-occurring alcohol, substance use, cigarette smoking, and mental health problems (e.g., eating disorders). Her lab has concentrated on assessing the attitudes and clinical practices of addiction treatment providers and medical practitioners in order to reduce stigma and increase use of evidence-based practices. Dr. Haug recently shifted her emphasis to the study of medical and recreation cannabis use, and harm reduction strategies for substance users with high-risk profiles. One of the lab’s goals is to develop a standardized scientific and clinical training protocol for cannabis dispensaries to implement in the comprehensive education of dispensary workers and medical providers.
Current Projects
  1. Vaporization Practices Among Cannabis Users: This online survey seeks to better understand the motives, experiences, practices, and preferences of adolescent and adult cannabis users. Specifically, we are examining participants’ use of vaporizers and perceptions of how vaporizer use compares to other routes of administration (i.e., smoking, edibles, etc.). By sampling a large international population, our aim is to characterize vaping practices among diverse users and identify common reasons for the increasing rates of vaporizer use. This research extends and expands upon previous work by examining female cannabis users who may have different practices or motives for use than men, and adolescents, who may have different practices or motives for use than adults.
  2. Medical Cannabis Dispensary Staff Attitudes and Practices: This study assessed the attitudes and practices of U.S. medical cannabis dispensary workers or “budtenders.” We recruited cannabis dispensary staff in states with legalized cannabis programs to participate in an online survey. We also interviewed dispensary staff members to assess knowledge, beliefs, experiences, and training, as well as the type of advice or recommendations they offer to patients. The data for these studies has been collected and the qualitative interviews are currently being analyzed. We plan to launch a revised survey for dispensary staff and medical providers (post recreational legalization) in Summer-Fall 2019.
  3. Mindfulness-based Group Intervention for Substance Use Disorders: This project examines the effectiveness of a mindfulness and values-based group intervention for outpatient treatment seekers in the Stanford Addiction Medicine clinic.  We are studying the impact of the group on hypothesized mechanisms of change, including: acceptance and psychological flexibility, mindfulness, self-efficacy, and motivation to reduce substance use.
  4. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Substance Use and Chronic Pain Group: This study examines the effectiveness of an MBSR group for treating patients with both addiction and chronic pain in the Stanford Addiction Medicine clinic.
Previous Projects with Students
  1. Online Mutual-Help Intervention for Reducing Heavy Alcohol Use: This study examined the effectiveness of an online mutual-help intervention for heavy alcohol use based on cognitive-behavioral and relapse prevention techniques.
  2. Assessment of Provider Attitudes toward Naloxone on Twitter: This study obtained data from the social media platform Twitter to better understand current perceptions of professional first responders on opioid overdose, use of naloxone, and drug addiction.
  3. An Examination of Motives, Consequences, and Risk Behaviors Associated with MDMA use: This study investigated MDMA users’ motives for use, consequences of use, harm reduction and risk behaviors to determine typical patterns of MDMA use among illicit users. Participants (n = 1732) were recruited to complete an online survey through flyers at electronic music events and harm reduction websites.
  4. Current Practices on College Campuses for Identifying and Helping Students with Problematic Substance Use: This study involved in-depth interviews with Stanford college students and administrators to assess the drug and alcohol culture on campus in order to inform future policy decisions. We explored current practices for identifying and helping students with problematic substance use and why college administrators struggle to enforce existing drug and alcohol policies on college campuses.
Poster presentations: Students in the lab are required to present their work at a scientific conference at least once during their 2nd-4th years at PAU. Prior students have presented at the following meetings: College on Problems of Drug Dependence; Research Society on Alcohol; Research Society on Marijuana; Addiction Health Services Research; Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction (APA Division 50); American Psychological Association; California Psychological Association.
Publications: Students have the opportunity to co-author publications and book chapters, conduct secondary analyses of existing datasets and lead manuscript writing projects.
Mentorship: The lab embraces a mentorship model where senior lab members mentor and support junior members. As you progress in your doctoral studies, you will have increasing opportunities for mentorship and collaboration with other students and colleagues at Stanford Psychiatry and the San Francisco VA. Dr. Haug is a core faculty member in the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium so the lab includes PsyD students. Having students from both doctoral programs at PAU enriches the learning environment and provides a unique atmosphere for academic innovation.
Supplemental Practicum: There is an opportunity for a supplemental practicum in the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis clinic to run mindfulness groups with patients who have substance use disorders and co-occurring mental disorders (ACT) or chronic pain (MBSR/CBT). Current student therapists and research assistants will train new students on Intakes and the group therapy protocols so they are ready to co-lead the groups starting in the summer.
Time commitment varies; approximately 5-10 hours/week and attendance at monthly lab meetings and/or project-specific meetings is required. You will be asked to actively contribute to ongoing research projects and to develop your own projects within the scope of the lab’s research. You will also be expected to publish your dissertation work.
If interested, please e-mail Dr. Nancy Haug at nhaug@paloaltou.edu with a copy of your CV, a brief description of interest or prior experience working in the field of addiction, and an unofficial PAU transcript. A sub-set of applicants will be invited to interview with Dr. Haug for a position in the lab.
Examples of student co-authored work products
Note:  * Indicates student co-author
Haug, N. A., Padula, C. B., Sottile*, J. E., Vandrey, R., Heinz, A., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2017). Cannabis use patterns and motives: A comparison of younger, middle-aged and older medical cannabis patients. Addictive Behaviors, 72, 14-20.
Haug, N. A., Osorno*, R., Yanovitch*, M. A., Svikis, D. S. (2017). Biopsychosocial approach to the management of drug and alcohol use in pregnancy. In L. Edozien and S. O’Brien (eds.). Biopsychosocial factors in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Cambridge University Press.
Haug, N.A., Kieschnick*, D., Sottile*, J., Babson, K. A., Vandrey, R., & Bonn-Miller, M.O. (2016). Training and practices of cannabis dispensary staff. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 1(1), 244-251.
Haug, N. A., Bielenberg*, J., Linder, S. H., & Lembke, A. (2016). Assessment of provider attitudes toward #naloxone on Twitter. Substance Abuse, 37(1) 35-41.
Polak*, K., Haug, N. A., Drachenberg, H., & Svikis, D. S. (2015). Gender considerations in addiction: Implications for treatment. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 2, 326-338.


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