CDAP Research Contributions

Significant Advances Based on CDAP Research Findings to Date
  • Repeated alcohol detoxifications can lead to an increase in seizure risk
  • Outpatient alcohol withdrawal can be accomplished more safely with anticonvulsant medications
  • Use of benzodiazepines for multiple withdrawals in mouse and human studies has been shown to be potentially dangerous
  • Alcoholics with Depression, PTSD, or social anxiety can be successfully treated
  • Found that opiate antagonists (e.g. naltrexone) reduce drinking, in mice and that they also reduce drinking and alcohol induced craving/ reward in man
  • Led COMBINE Study showing that naltrexone was effective even without intensive counseling (JAMA)
  • Help design and conduct a clinical trial proving that topiramate could promote abstinence (JAMA)
  • First to use brain imaging to show that brains of heavy drinkers react to alcohol cues differently from social drinkers and that naltrexone blocks that reaction.
  • First in the U.S. to use an advanced blood test (%CDT) to detect and monitor heavy drinking and provide testing for patients at MUHA, VA, IOP
  • Scientifically proved the link between pre-natal alcohol use and fetal alcohol syndrome
  • First to conduct a national study to evaluate better ways for primary care MDs to screen for heavy drinking with aid of electronic medical records
  • First to use in vitro brain networks to explore the role of alcohol on the brain growing in the lab dish
  • Recognized by NIAAA as having one of the best animal drinking models to discover new medications to treat alcohol dependence and withdrawal
  • Discovered that an over the counter supplement (NAC) could be useful to treat cocaine addiction
  • Leading the way in pharmacogenetics of alcohol use disorders (personalized medicine)
  • Developed a labortory model for understanding stress-induced drinking in alcoholics
  • Determined that adolescents with alcohol problems show cue-induced craving, which is relevant for treating their addiction


Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
67 President Street
MSC 861
Charleston, SC
(843) 792-2727