Richard Saitz, MD

Professor, Community Health Sciences
Richard Saitz
Crosstown Center – 433
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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, General Internal Medicine, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Faculty, Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine


  • Boston University School of Medicine, MD
  • Harvard University, MPH
  • Boston University, BA

Classes Taught

  • SPHSB785


  • Published on 4/30/2020

    Saitz R. Brady KT, Levin FR, Galanter M, Kleber HD. The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Substance Use Disorders. Screening and Brief Intervention. American Psychiatric Press. 2020.

  • Published on 2/6/2020

    Oldfield BJ, Saitz R. Guidance for Writing Case Reports in Addiction Medicine. J Addict Med. 2020 Feb 06. PMID: 32032209.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/8/2020

    Park TW, Larochelle MR, Saitz R, Wang N, Bernson D, Walley AY. Associations between prescribed benzodiazepines, overdose death and buprenorphine discontinuation among people receiving buprenorphine. Addiction. 2020 Jan 08. PMID: 31916306.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/5/2019

    Thakarar K, Walley AY, Heeren TC, Winter MR, Ventura AS, Sullivan M, Drainoni M, Saitz R. Medication for addiction treatment and acute care utilization in HIV-positive adults with substance use disorders. AIDS Care. 2019 Nov 05; 1-5. PMID: 31686528.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/1/2019

    Saitz R. Editor's note: Congratulations to the 2019 Author and Reviewer Award Winners. J Addict Med. 2019 Nov/Dec; 13(6):419. PMID: 31107802.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/17/2019

    Hodgkin D, Gao W, Larson MJ, Drebing CE, Merrick EL, Pugatch M, Horgan CM, Zolotusky G, Petry NM, Saitz R. Referral to Treatment After Positive Screens for Unhealthy Drug Use in an Outpatient Veterans Administration Setting. J Addict Med. 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31567600.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/29/2019

    Palfai TP, Taylor JL, Saitz R, Kratzer MPL, Otis JD, Bernstein JA. Development of a tailored, telehealth intervention to address chronic pain and heavy drinking among people with HIV infection: integrating perspectives of patients in HIV care. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2019 08 29; 14(1):35. PMID: 31464645.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/16/2019

    Humphreys K, Saitz R. Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioids-Reply. JAMA. 2019 07 16; 322(3):273-274. PMID: 31310294.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/8/2019

    Biancarelli DL, Biello KB, Childs E, Drainoni M, Salhaney P, Edeza A, Mimiaga MJ, Saitz R, Bazzi AR. Strategies used by people who inject drugs to avoid stigma in healthcare settings. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 05 01; 198:80-86. PMID: 30884432.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2019

    Saitz R. Treatment for Opioid Addiction Must Be Offered in General Hospitals: But How? J Addict Med. 2019 Mar/Apr; 13(2):83-84. PMID: 30652975.

    Read at: PubMed

View 335 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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