Research, education and training related to addiction and recovery
The Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions (IRETA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that works with national, state, and local partners to improve recognition, prevention, treatment, research and policy related to addiction and recovery.
To achieve its mission, IRETA provides:
• Accurate and timely dissemination of evidence-based information.
• Bidirectional exchange of constructive knowledge related to addiction and recovery.
• Knowledge of addiction and recovery in a culturally competent manner.
Information Collection and Dissemination
IRETA disseminates information/research in the area of substance abuse through online and print media outlets, as well as in the creation of training and curricula, the development of treatment guidelines, and the presentation of research findings at regional and national events.
Training and Education
IRETA engages in two major types of training. First is substance abuse training for professionals in direct prevention, intervention or treatment roles in the provider community. This training is designed to provide continuing education opportunities that can be applied as credits required by the State for certification or licensure. The second is interdisciplinary training, targeted towards professionals in the human service field who are involved in providing direct services or in program or policy development in their professional roles. IRETA is approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board to provide credits for addictions practitioners and is also a co-sponsor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work to provide continuing education credits for social workers.
Research and Evaluation
IRETA conducts independent research and evaluation efforts, coordinates the integration of state-of-the-art research findings for education and training purposes, and encourages future research initiatives within the Commonwealth. IRETA's research and evaluation efforts are guided by its Board of Directors and academic partners.
IRETA works toward the alignment of science, policy and practice in the area of substance abuse. IRETA identifies and prioritizes gaps in the current health care delivery system, convenes workshops and other forums that provide an opportunity for policy makers to discuss the issues, develops and disseminates materials that can be used to support advocacy efforts, synthesizes research findings to support specific policy choices, and develops point papers describing policy change/policy development initiatives occurring throughout the country.
Who is IRETA's Target Audience?
IRETA focuses on providing information, technical assistance, and educational resources for policymakers, providers (prevention, treatment, recovery, and non-specialized healthcare workers who also provide substance use disorder care), educators, consumers and their families, and administrators.
What Does IRETA Hope to Achieve?
IRETA's overall goals focus on influencing health care policy related to addictions, transferring research knowledge into practice, educating and training providers of addiction care, and acting as an advocate for the addictions field. In the short-term, IRETA provides special training on significant topics in the field, responds to requests for topic-specific trainings, and creates educational materials, all with the goal of improving the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of providers. In the long-term, IRETA works toward the consistent and sustained use of evidence-based practices, policies that support care which treat addiction as the chronic illness that it is, and the elimination of stigma related to addiction.
Why Do We Need IRETA?
In its 2001 report, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Brandeis University labeled substance abuse as America's number one preventable public health problem. Despite the fact that addiction is a contributing or causal factor to many other chronic health conditions, that medical and criminal justice costs from untreated substance use disorders cost the public millions of dollars every year, and that research indicates that treatment is the most cost-effective of all interventions, millions of people and their families continue to suffer from addiction. While there have been many scientific advances in the understanding of addiction and its treatment, this information does not sufficiently inform policy and practice related to the substance use. Although the divide between science and practice/policy is widely recognized, there are only a handful of organizations like IRETA in the country that specifically focus on bridging this gap.