A major focus of the efforts of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in treatment research is to develop and test promising medications and behavioral therapies for treating alcohol disorders. This commitment is particularly reflected in NIAAA’s multisite clinical trial, COMBINE, which tests two promising medications, naltrexone and acamprosate, alone and combined, in conjunction with two behavioral therapies, Medical Management and Combined Behavioral Intervention. The project involves 11 geographically diverse clinical sites representing both public and private treatment facilities as well as hospital and university outpatient facilities, and a data coordinating center. The cooperative agreement under which this project was established allowed direct collaboration between NIAAA and the researchers, who are among the most senior and experienced treatment scientists in the field.
The two treatment manuals in this series are the result of the collaborative efforts of the COMBINE investigators and are used as guides by therapists in the trial. As used in COMBINE, these manuals summarize the consensus of the investigators on reasonable intervention approaches based on present knowledge and are presented to the alcohol research community as standardized, well-documented intervention tools for alcoholism treatment research. Forthcoming publications from COMBINE will address the relative efficacy of the combinations of interventions. We look forward to offering further refinements of these approaches as COMBINE data are analyzed and published and as further advances are made in alcoholism treatment through ongoing research.
Ting-Kai Li, M.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism