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NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative logoNIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative*

Harnessing the skills, resources, and knowledge of two federal agencies to facilitate moving important scientific findings into mainstream addiction treatment practice is the goal of the NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative. Developed in 2001 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, this project is designed to meld science and practice together to improve substance use disorder treatment and accelerate the dissemination of research-based drug abuse treatment findings into community-based practice.

The NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative encompasses three components:

  • Regional Blending Conferences:All NIDA Blending Conferences are uniquely designed to enhance bidirectional communication between researchers, clinical practitioners, and policy-makers regarding innovative scientific findings about drug abuse and addiction; and have been strategically convened in different geographic regions of the country.
  • State Agency Partnerships: NIDA works closely with federal and state policy-makers to help identify strategies to accelerate the adoption of science-based practices.
  • Blending Teams: Based on recently tested NIDA research, the Blending Teams design user-friendly tools or “products” that are introduced to treatment providers to facilitate the adoption of science-based interventions in their communities at nearly the same time that research results are published in peer-reviewed journals. Blending Teams are composed of members from SAMHSA-CSAT’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network, NIDA researchers, and community treatment providers participating in NIDA's CTN Network.

The ultimate goal of the Blending Teams is for the addiction treatment workforce to adopt and implement these evidence-based practices into their everyday work. They accomplish this by identifying and developing activities and materials (e.g., trainings, self-study programs, workshops, and distance learning opportunities) for the addiction treatment field that will provide the tools necessary to access and adopt NIDA research protocols. To view a slideshow presenting an overview of the NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative, click here .

The Science of Treatment: Dissemination of Research-based Drug Addiction Treatment Findings

Accelerating the dissemination of research-based drug abuse treatment findings into community-based practice is a key priority for NIDA and represents the core mission of the NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative. This initiative is NIDA’s most recent and innovative effort to accelerate the dissemination of research-based drug abuse treatment findings into the community-based practice.


To date, a total of nine blending teams have been established:


*Jennifer Norland (Mountain West ATTC) and Beth Rutkowski (Pacific Southwest ATTC) compiled the information in this section.

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