Optimizing addiction interventions to address co-occurring substance use and problems

We are conducting a series of studies to better understand how we can improve intervention outcomes for individuals who use multiple substances. While an individual may seek treatment for one substance, chances are that the individual also has experienced problematic use of another substance. A common example of this is the widespread cigarette use among individuals who drink heavily and may even have an alcohol use disorder. Importantly, using cigarettes and alcohol together can make it more difficult for an individual to quit either substance and using both substances is associated with greater negative health outcomes, like cancer.

To address this in the CARE lab, we are investigating why does cigarette smoking often literally go hand-in-hand with alcohol use? Furthermore, how might we be able to better help individuals address their drug use by taking into account how these multiple substances interact with each other?