Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

About ADAI

Our Mission: To advance research, policy, and practice in order to improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by alcohol and drug use and addiction.

Our Vision: We believe that harms related to substance use are preventable and treatable and that research plays a vital role in developing real-world solutions.

Our Commitment: We strive to infuse the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout all endeavors.

The Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI), formerly the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, is a multidisciplinary research institute in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

The University of Washington established ADAI in October 1973 as a research institute in the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center. In 2013, the UW’s Fetal Alcohol & Drug Unit (FADU) joined the Institute, adding their research and community-based services to those of ADAI. The Institute is a focal point for alcohol and drug use research at the UW and in the northwest 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 use.

ADAI activities may be described under three general headings:

  • ADAI Research by Institute researchers, comprised of both faculty and research scientists in the UW School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and supported through federal and state agencies and private foundations.
  • Stimulation and support of alcohol and drug related research at the UW by faculty and researchers in departments throughout the University 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 Information Services, Clearinghouse, publications and presentations by ADAI scientists, numerous websites, news blogs, email lists, newsletters, conferences and symposia.

Grants and contracts from federal and state agencies and private foundations provide the majority of the Institute’s funding. ADAI also receives state funds from Initiative 171 which mandated that a portion liquor license fees be directed to the University of Washington and Washington State University for research on alcohol and drug use and dissemination of research information. Since 2015, ADAI has also received funds from the state’s Marijuana Dedicated Fund for research.

Dr. Susan Ferguson
Dr. Susan Ferguson

In April 2019, Dr. Susan Ferguson, was named Director of ADAI following the retirement of Dennis M. Donovan, PhD, who served as director from 1993 until September 2018.

Dr. Ferguson officially began her duties as director on July 1, 2019.