Richard Saitz

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Chair, Department of Community Health Sciences

Expertise:
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Education:

MD, Boston University
MPH (Quantitative Methods), Harvard University
BA (Medical Sciences), Boston University

Contact Info:

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Dr. Saitz is a primary care internist, certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine, and Addiction Medicine, and a health services researcher. He directs the Division of Clinical Research Resources for the BUMC Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. Dr. Saitz is additionally the recently appointed Chair of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of… Read more

Dr. Saitz is a primary care internist, certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine, and Addiction Medicine, and a health services researcher. He directs the Division of Clinical Research Resources for the BUMC Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. Dr. Saitz is additionally the recently appointed Chair of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health.

His primary areas of expertise and research are screening and brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol and drug use, integrating substance-related and general health care (e.g., chronic disease/care management), and improving the quality of care for people with addictions across the spectrum of use particularly in general medical care settings.

He is the author of over 130 peer-reviewed publications, past President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse and former Chairman of the BUMC Institutional Review Board.  He is a current member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.  His research has been supported by NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the SAMHSA CSAP and CSAT.

In the Media

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  • Some struggling with heroin leave Delaware to get help

    May 22, 2016

    The News Journal Richard Saitz, School of Public Health Experts say addiction must be treated like the disease it it, with changes coming from insurance companies, communities and more… Expert quote: “No one would choose addiction. Even if the first use is a choice, repeated use leads to brain changes that reduce the capacity to […]

  • Could Marijuana Help Treat Painkiller And Heroin Addiction?

    April 26, 2016

    Associated Press Richard Saitz, School of Public Health The growing number of patients who claim marijuana helped them drop their painkiller habit has intrigued lawmakers and emboldened advocates, who are pushing for cannabis as a treatment for the abuse of opioids and illegal narcotics like heroin, as well as an alternative to painkillers… Expert quote: “We […]

  • Father Says Saugus Store Display Promotes Excessive College Drinking

    August 30, 2015

    WBZ-TV Ch. 4 Richard Saitz, School of Public Health A Saugus father says he is disgusted with a department store’s back to school displays that he says target college students and encourage them to drink… View full article and video of expert Richard Saitz

  • LETTERS: Real evidence is needed before we extol alcohol’s benefits

    September 13, 2014

    Boston Globe (subscription required) By Richard Saitz, School of Medicine With his Sept. 10 op-ed column, Jeff Jacoby asks, “Why can’t alcohol labels tout benefits?” Here’s why… View full article by expert Richard Saitz

  • Priorities in addiction treatment bill debated

    July 29, 2014

    Boston Globe (subscription required) Richard Saitz, School of Medicine Paul Kusiak calls it “our family’s personal 9/11.” His two sons, four years apart in age, both started struggling with opioid addiction a decade ago. At the same time, Kusiak faced another bruising fight: getting insurance to pay for his sons’ medical care… Expert quote: “You […]

  • Does marijuana make it harder to quit other drugs?

    June 27, 2014

    Futurity News Richard Saitz, School of Public Health Because marijuana stimulates reward areas in the brain, people who smoke marijuana may find it more difficult to stop using other drugs and alcohol, a new study suggests. Researchers say the findings point to the possibility that addressing marijuana use during addiction treatment could improve treatment outcomes… Expert […]

  • To Beat Heroin Addiction, A Turn To Coaches

    June 13, 2014

    WBUR “CommonHealth” Richard Saitz, School of Public Health Two young men sit in a car outside a church or union hall where they just attended a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Both men are addicted to heroin. But they haven’t used the drug since they finished a residential treatment program a week or so earlier… Expert quote: […]

  • Rethinking ‘the wagon’

    June 4, 2014

    Real Change News Richard Saitz, School of Medicine With new methods, including an anti-craving drug, alcoholics can moderate their drinking, study shows… Expert quote: “Treating this condition, it’s not a philosophy or religion. It’s a health issue, and there’s things that work and things that don’t work.” View full article

  • Easier Way for Doctors to Identify Substance Abuse?

    January 16, 2014

    HealthDay News Richard Saitz, School of Medicine A single question may help doctors determine whether a patient has a drug or alcohol problem and the level of abuse, a new study suggests… Expert quote: “We found that single questions may be useful in both screening and preliminary assessment of substance-use severity. Instead of extensive interviews or […]

  • Team-Based Addiction Care Not as Effective as Experts Hoped

    September 18, 2013

    Time Richard Saitz, School of Medicine To treat chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension, the gold standard now involves a coordinated, team-based approach… Expert quote: “It was very disappointing and surprising, actually. Chronic care management, which is a pretty robust intervention and way of delivering care to people with chronic illnesses, did not improve any […]

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