Richard Saitz

Richard Saitz, MD

Professor, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health


Richard Saitz MD, MPH, FACP (Fellow, American College of Physicians), DFASAM (Distinguished Fellow, American Society of Addiction Medicine), is a general internist (diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, DABIM) and primary care physician, an addiction medicine specialist (diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, DABAM), Chair and Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University (BU) School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at BU School of Medicine. He Chaired the Treatment and Services review committee for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is former Editor of Evidence-Based Medicine, associate editor of JAMA, and Senior Editor of Journal of Addiction Medicine, Section Editor and sole author of key chapters in UpToDate on unhealthy substance use, an editor of the ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine textbook, Editor Emeritus of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, and author of over two hundred peer-reviewed publications.

He was Director of Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit for over a decade, has been Chairman of an Institutional Review Board, Associate Director of Clinical Research for BU, President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), steering committee member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), and is coordinating committee member of International Network for Brief Intervention for Alcohol and other drug problems (INEBRIA). He is on the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE) Board now as Vice President. His primary areas of expertise supported by NIH, RWJF, and SAMHSA, are screening and brief intervention, integrating substance-related and general health care, improving the quality of care for people with unhealthy substance use, particularly in general health settings, and basing care on science. He validated single-item screening questions recommended by NIDA and NIAAA. Awards: Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, Boston Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award, Best Doctors in America®, AMERSA’s W. Anderson Spickard, Jr. Excellence in Mentorship Award, the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award (ASAM), Research Society on Alcoholism Distinguished Researcher Award.

Other Positions

  • Chair, Community Health Sciences - Boston University School of Public Health
  • Professor, Medicine - Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research - Boston University
  • Faculty, Medicine - Boston University School of Medicine
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students) - Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Boston University School of Medicine, MD Field of Study: Medicine
  • Harvard University, MPH Field of Study: Quantitative Methods
  • Boston University, BA Field of Study: Medical Science


  • Published on 11/18/2021

    Alford DP, Kim TW, Samet JH, Cruz AB, Brolin MF, Shanahan CW, Saitz R. Prevalence and Correlates of Positive Follow-up Screens in Primary Care for Unhealthy Alcohol and Other Drug Use After a Negative Screen. J Addict Med. 2021 Nov 18. PMID: 34799491.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/14/2021

    Tanner-Smith EE, Parr NJ, Schweer-Collins M, Saitz R. Effects of brief substance use interventions delivered in general medical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction. 2021 Oct 14. PMID: 34647649.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2021

    Shorter GW, Bray JW, Heather N, Berman AH, Giles EL, Clarke M, Barbosa C, O'Donnell AJ, Holloway A, Riper H, Daeppen JB, Monteiro MG, Saitz R, McNeely J, McKnight-Eily L, Cowell A, Toner P, Newbury-Birch D. The "Outcome Reporting in Brief Intervention Trials: Alcohol" (ORBITAL) Core Outcome Set: International Consensus on Outcomes to Measure in Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials of Alcohol Brief Interventions. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2021 09; 82(5):638-646. PMID: 34546911.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/3/2021

    Weimer MB, Wakeman SE, Saitz R. X-Waiver Exemption in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder-Reply. JAMA. 2021 08 03; 326(5):442-443. PMID: 34342621.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2021

    Smid MC, Saitz R. Postpartum Treatment of Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder: Maternal Risk and Need for Evidence Do Not End When Pregnancy Ends. J Addict Med. 2021 Jul-Aug 01; 15(4):267-268. PMID: 34397779.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/18/2021

    Rubin A, Livingston NA, Brady J, Hocking E, Bickmore T, Sawdy M, Kressin N, Saitz R, Simon S. Computerized Relational Agent to Deliver Alcohol Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment in Primary Care: a Randomized Clinical Trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34145518.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/7/2021

    Hahn JA, Murnane PM, Vittinghoff E, Muyindike WR, Emenyonu NI, Fatch R, Chamie G, Haberer JE, Francis JM, Kapiga S, Jacobson K, Myers B, Couture MC, DiClemente RJ, Brown JL, So-Armah K, Sulkowski M, Marcus GM, Woolf-King S, Cook RL, Richards VL, Molina P, Ferguson T, Welsh D, Piano MR, Phillips SA, Stewart S, Afshar M, Page K, McGinnis K, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Bryant K, Saitz R. Factors associated with phosphatidylethanol (PEth) sensitivity for detecting unhealthy alcohol use: An individual patient data meta-analysis. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 06; 45(6):1166-1187. PMID: 33837975.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/30/2021

    Park TW, Sikov J, dellaBitta V, Saitz R, Walley AY, Drainoni ML. "It could potentially be dangerous... but nothing else has seemed to help me.": Patient and clinician perspectives on benzodiazepine use in opioid agonist treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 Apr 30; 131:108455. PMID: 34098286.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/21/2021

    Fuster D, Nunes D, Cheng DM, Saitz R, Samet JH. Alcohol Consumption and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) RNA Levels in HIV/HCV Coinfected Patients. Viruses. 2021 04 21; 13(5). PMID: 33919027.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/23/2021

    Weimer MB, Wakeman SE, Saitz R. Removing One Barrier to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment: Is It Enough? JAMA. 2021 Mar 23; 325(12):1147-1148. PMID: 33630020.

    Read At: PubMed

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