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 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 Apr 21; 13(5). PMID: 33919027.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/10/2021

    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 Apr 10. PMID: 33837975.

    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
  • Published on 1/1/2021

    Saitz R, Bair-Merritt MH, Levy SJ. Screening for Young Adults for Illicit Drug Use: A Good Idea Although Evidence Is Lacking. Pediatrics. 2021 Jan; 147(Suppl 2):S259-S261. PMID: 33386328.

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

    Saitz R, Miller SC, Fiellin DA, Rosenthal RN. Recommended Use of Terminology in Addiction Medicine. J Addict Med. 2021 Jan-Feb 01; 15(1):3-7. PMID: 32482955.

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

    Lin LA, Saitz R. What Will it Take to Stem the Tide? Understanding and Addressing the Needs of People With Addiction Involving Multiple Substances. J Addict Med. 2021 Jan-Feb 01; 15(1):1-2. PMID: 32530886.

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

    Roy PJ, Saitz R. The Cost of a Cigarette: Opportunities to Engage Hospitalized Patients With Opioid Use Disorder. J Addict Med. 2021 Jan-Feb 01; 15(1):13-14. PMID: 32541361.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/5/2020

    Rombouts SA, Conigrave JH, Saitz R, Louie E, Haber P, Morley KC. Evidence based models of care for the treatment of alcohol use disorder in primary health care settings: a systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2020 12 05; 21(1):260. PMID: 33278891.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2020

    Cole TB, Saitz R. Cannabis and Impaired Driving. JAMA. 2020 12 01; 324(21):2163-2164. PMID: 33258875.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/28/2020

    Friedman A, Shea M, Winter MR, Saitz R, Aschengrau A. Prenatal and early childhood exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and non-medical use of prescription drugs: A retrospective cohort study in Cape Cod, MA. Environ Res. 2020 Oct 28; 110384. PMID: 33129864.

    Read At: PubMed

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