Partner Tribes & Organizations


Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute

Overview of ADAI

Recognizing the need to address the enormous problems caused by alcohol and drug abuse, the University of Washington established the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute in October of 1973 as an interdisciplinary research center in the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center. From its beginning, the mission of the Institute has been to conduct and support substance abuse research at the University of Washington, and disseminate research findings in substance abuse. In 2013, the UW’s Fetal Alcohol & Drug Unit (FADU) joined ADAI, adding their research and community-based services to the Institute’s focal areas. FADU research includes the Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP), a home-visitation caseā€management model for mothers who abuse alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.

ADAI activities may be described under three general headings:

  • ADAI Research by our own Research Scientists, supported through federal, state, and other grants and contracts.
  • Stimulation and support of alcohol and drug related research at the UW by faculty and researchers in departments throughout the University through a Small Grants Program. Since 1973, ADAI has awarded more than 3.5 three million dollars to researchers in 40 University departments, for approximately 350 projects. Many of those funded projects led to outside funding for expanded research, bringing in tens of millions of research dollars to the University.
  • Dissemination of research findings through its Library & Information Service, Clearinghouse, publications and presentations by ADAI scientists, numerous websites, news blogs, email lists, newsletters, conferences and symposia.

The Institute receives financial support from the State of Washington under state Initiative 171, which mandates that a portion of fees collected for certain state liquor licenses be allocated to the two state research universities for research on alcohol and drug abuse, and dissemination of research information. The University of Washington provides additional funding. Research studies are funded primarily through grants and contracts awarded by federal and state agencies, and private foundations.

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute is a focal point for alcohol and drug abuse research at the University of Washington and in the region, benefiting the citizens of Washington State by expanding our knowledge and providing information to health and social service professionals, policy makers, and the public. The Institute’s staff of clinical and social psychologists, epidemiologists, public health experts, and information specialists work to improve our understanding and reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drug abuse.

Dennis M. Donovan, Ph.D. has been the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute since 1993. Dr. Donovan is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology.