Accelerating the dissemination of research-based drug abuse treatment findings into community-based practice is a key priority for NIDA and represents the core mission of the NIDA/SAMHSA Blending Initiative. The Institute of Medicine reported that a 17-year gap exists between the publication of research results and its impact on treatment delivery. To reduce this gap, NIDA and SAMHSA have joined together to create the Blending Initiative. This initiative is NIDA's most recent and innovative effort to translate research into practice and to incorporate bidirectional feedback from multiple stakeholders to make the best drug abuse and addiction treatments available to those who need them.
The Blending Initiative encompasses several components. One component is the NIDA Blending Conference which provides unique opportunities for teams of clinicians and researchers to co-present innovative scientific findings about drug abuse and addiction. Another key component is the creation of Blending Teams. These Teams are creating innovative "products" for the substance abuse treatment and research community. For the first time in history, these products are being made available at nearly the same time that the research results are published in peer-reviewed journals, substantially reducing the gap between research and practice.
What are Blending Teams?
Blending Teams are composed of NIDA researchers, community-based substance abuse treatment practitioners and trainers from SAMHSA's Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network who work closely together to develop 'products' (e.g. training curricula, supervisory manuals) from research conducted within NIDA's Clinical Trials Network (CTN) as well as other research supported by NIDA.
Blending Team members design dissemination products to give treatment providers the necessary tools to facilitate the adoption of science-based interventions to use in their communities. To date, five separate Blending Teams have been developed and include: