Addiction Policy Forum Blog

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Addiction Policy Forum announces the formation of Scientific Advisory Board

By Addiction Policy Forum on January 30, 2019

For Immediate Release

January 30, 2019 

Addiction Policy Forum announces the formation of Scientific Advisory Board

Renowned scientists join Addiction Policy Forum’s fight against addiction

Washington, DC — Today Addiction Policy Forum, a leading addiction nonprofit, announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board. The Scientific Advisory Board includes nationally renowned experts and will provide strategic guidance and direction for research and scientific programs.

“The contribution of the Scientific Advisory Board is crucial to achieve the objectives that we have set for ourselves and identify new solutions,” says Jessica Hulsey Nickel, founder of Addiction Policy Forum.

Dr. Mark Gold, a world-renowned expert on addiction and psychiatry, will co-chair the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Gold was the Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Florida and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine. “This distinguished group of scientists and physicians brings unparalleled expertise to our goal of accelerating our progress in treating and preventing addiction."

Dr. Robert DuPont, a leader in addiction prevention and treatment for the past 50 years, will co-chair the Scientific Advisory Board. “I’m excited about the cutting edge initiatives developed by Addiction Policy Forum and the prospects of applying these to advance patient care.” says Dr. DuPont. 

Addiction Policy Forum’s Scientific Advisory Board includes members from the fields of medicine, psychiatry, addiction treatment, research, and public health, including:

  • Co-Chair Robert L. DuPont, M.D., Leader in addiction prevention and treatment for the past 50 years and former Drug Czar under Presidents Nixon and Ford.
  • Co-Chair Mark S. Gold, M.D., Former Chairman of Psychiatry at the University of Florida, Adjunct Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine.
  • Nicole Avena, Ph.D., Mt Sinai   and Princeton research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction.
  • David A. Baron, DO, MSEd, USC and Western University Addiction Medicine researcher and educator for over 40 years, focusing on MAT training for health providers.
  • James H. Berry, DO,  associate professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University School of Medicine and the Director of Addictions.
  • Jean L. Cadet, M.D., Senior Investigator, Chief, Molecular Neuropsychiatry Research Branch Chief, NIDA, Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section.
  • Caroline DuPont, M.D., Vice President of IBH, focuses on the areas of addiction treatment and prevention.
  • Jessica A. Gold, M.D. MS, Washington University in St. Louis,  Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry, Staff Psychiatrist, Habif Health and Wellness Center.
  • Michael Lesser, M.D., Executive Director, RANE, Medical & Mental Health and a leader in the public and hospital-based healthcare and crisis management space.
  • Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D., Director of the Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN), the Director of the NIDA-funded P30 Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH; a P30 “Center of Excellence”), and the Andrew G. Wallace Professor of Psychiatry within the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
  • Marc Potenza, M.D. Ph.D.Director, Yale Center of Excellence in Gambling Research
    Director, Women and Addictions Core of Women's Health Research at Yale
    Professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Neurobiology,
    Yale University School of Medicine
  • Sharon L. Walsh, Ph.D.,  Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and Director, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research UK HealthCare.
  • Sarah Y. Vinson, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Morehouse University School of Medicine, Founder of the Lorio Psych Group, and specializes in adult, child and adolescent, and forensic psychiatry.


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About Addiction Policy Forum

Addiction Policy Forum is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Our national headquarters are located in Washington, DC with resources and services in every state.

More information on our mission and projects is available at our website --

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No Missed Opportunities: Criminal Justice Interventions in our National Response to Addiction

By Jessica Hulsey Nickel on October 4, 2018

Substance use disorders impact every community in the United States. Every day, nearly 200 Americans die from a drug overdose. Our first responders, law enforcement and criminal justice personnel are increasingly at the center of this issue—from being first at the scene of an overdose to responding to the lack of resources and limited treatment options for individuals with substance use disorders who are in our jails and criminal justice systems.

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3 min read

Accidental Miracles and How Addiction Policy Forum Started

By Jessica Hulsey Nickel on July 11, 2018

I was at a cookout recently when someone asked about what I do for work, and I happily spoke about Addiction Policy Forum, and the Brimley Group. They asked how I came to set up both of these organizations and my honest answer was: “A total accident.”

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2 min read

Celebrating the Addiction Policy Forum’s Third Anniversary!

By Addiction Policy Forum on June 27, 2018

Three years ago we launched the Addiction Policy Forum with a vision to create a world where fewer lives are lost and help exists for the millions of Americans affected by addiction every day.

Today we are proud to be a volunteer-led, staff-supported organization. In the past year we have launched and expanded numerous programs with the help of our families. From the creation of Addiction Resource Center with a patient portal and a resource line staffed by trained counselors to help patients and families find the help they need, the launch of 20 state chapters, and work with Congress on a comprehensive package of bills to address addiction and the opioid epidemic, H.R. 6., we have seen tremendous progress to help families and communities in crisis -- but we know that there is still much work to be done. 

21 million Americans struggle with the disease of addiction, and we will not stop until there are comprehensive resources for every individual, family and community touched by this disease. To support the Addiction Policy Forum in our next year and beyond, text FORTHE21 to 444999 today or visit   

Together, we can solve this.

Addiction Policy Forum

Highlights from year one and year two.

Topics: APF news
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3 min read

A Granddaughter's Tribute

By Addiction Policy Forum on June 6, 2018

I love superheroes. Captain America. Superman. Wonder Woman. The bravery and strength--not the costumes--call to me. They always have.

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Emergency Medicine and Addiction: A Critical Intervention Point

By Jessica Hulsey Nickel on May 22, 2018

It is easy to get lost in the dizzying data of our nation’s overdose epidemic: 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016, a number larger than the entire population of Terre Haute, Indiana.

We are losing the equivalent of a plane crash every day in America. If those planes were actually going down every day the FAA would stop operations until they found out exactly what was going on, yet we are still slow and struggling to take a response to scale to address the opioid crisis nationally.

The numbers don’t adequately convey the heartache and loss that accompanies the disease of addiction either. This loss includes Aimee Manzoni-Darpino from Massachusetts getting to beam with pride at her beloved son Emmett’s college graduation. Emmett would have been graduating this month, had his life not been tragically cut short following a string of seven prior non-fatal opioid overdoses. It includes Doug Griffin from New Hampshire one day walking his beautiful daughter Courtney down the aisle. Courtney passed away due to a fentanyl overdose after insurance coverage was repeatedly denied for the substance use disorder treatment she so desperately needed.

These tragedies can be prevented. We know who our most at-risk patients are: those who have already had a non-fatal overdose are at heightened risk for a fatal overdose. In fact, an estimated 70 percent of people who die of an overdose had previously experienced a non-fatal overdose. Our Emergency Departments (ED) are on the frontline of this public health emergency. Between 2005 and 2014, the national rate of opioid-related ED visits increased 99.4 percent, then increased another 29.7 percent from July 2016 to September 2017. Recognizing the critical need for ED interventions for patients suffering with substance use disorders, the Addiction Policy Forum launched its Emergency Medicine Initiative—which includes a toolkit and other resources-- to support health systems and patients.

As we move as a society from viewing addiction as a moral failing to treating it as the health condition science has proven it to be, we must address it in our healthcare system with the thoughtful urgency this epidemic requires and support our medical providers with the necessary infrastructures and protocols to do so. We are fortunate to have important tools in our toolbox: screenings, medications to treat addiction, naloxone to reverse overdoses and training resources. By layering these and other innovative interventions, we can transform a trip to the ED into an opportunity for linkage to treatment and recovery.

The toll of not supporting our nation’s health systems to address our most vulnerable patients’ needs is a price we cannot afford: we are losing 174 sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers each day to drug overdose, a generation of Americans lost to a treatable disease. By changing how we respond to non-fatal overdoses, we can have the biggest, quickest impact and save the most lives.

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