two year old

Credit: dolanh

Celebrating IRETA Blog’s birthday (Downside: no cupcakes. Upside: no noisemakers.)

Hello, friends!  Welcome to our second birthday party. Thanks for being here today and (perhaps) on other days over the past two years.  How the time does fly.

Ireta Logo_CMYK_LrgWe are the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA).  Established in 1999, IRETA works toward the alignment of science, policy and practice in the area of substance use and substance use disorders. Our vision is for systems throughout society to address substance use as part of overall health and for people to be able to get help for substance use if they need it.

And this is our blog, launched on July 29, 2012.  We blog for two reasons: 1) we want to help people do their jobs better and 2) we want to help expand the conversation about addiction and substance use.

So if you’re a doctor, nurse, addiction counselor, needle exchange worker, social worker, dentist, probation officer, or anyone else whose job entails working with people who may have substance use disorders–welcome! We’re glad you’re here. We try to offer information that helps you do your job better.

And if you’re  a regular Joe, a person in (or seeking) recovery, or somehow connected to the topic of addiction (it’s hard not to be), we’re glad you’re here, too. Help us improve and broaden the conversation about addiction and substance use.

Before you get too excited, the “birthday party” basically consists of us reporting our top five most popular posts of the year. Sorry–there are no cupcakes. (Although we do have a few enticing mocktails on our Pinterest page.)

Without further ado, in no particular order, here are the top five posts from the last year.  We hope you like them.

Fruit mocktail. Credit: cherrylet

Bars without booze

A rundown of a new trend in Britain–bars with everything but the alcohol–and plans for the first of this type of establishment in America

Two_Paths_Diverged___Comparing 12-step and non-step models of addiction recovery

A medical student considers the issue of referring a patient to specialty treatment: what are the options?  Which ones are supported by research?

benzo podium sign useInfographic: Benzodiazepine Use and Medication-Assisted Treatment

Patients in medication-assisted treatment frequently use benzodiazepines.  What are the risks of this practice? An infographic outlines what we know about benzodiazepines’ acute consequences, long-term effects, and potential impact on recovery outcomes.

Credit: BJA Training, 2011.Women have been particularly affected by the War on Drugs

Part I in a two-part series.  Did you know that the  number of incarcerated women has increased 800% in the past three decades?  And more than one quarter of women in prison are serving for drug offenses?

8 things8 things a primary care doctor should know about working with people with substance use disorders

It’s a list on the Internet–people love lists on the Internet.  We put together an infographic based on a smart article we read about SBIRT in primary care. Suitable for all sorts of clinicians (not just doctors).



Like most two year-olds, we still have a great deal to learn…about blogging, certainly,  and also about the science of substance use, addiction and recovery from substance use disorders.  We’re excited about all of it.

And most importantly: thanks to all of you for reading our blog and especially for those occasions that you take a few extra moments from your busy, busy days to leave us a comment or send us an email about a post.  It’s been incredibly gratifying to communicate with a diverse group of people who care about the ways that substances impact our lives.