Substance use issues are one of the most pervasive healthcare issues facing Canada today.

Despite our current challenges, there is good reason for informed optimism if we can expand research activity and connect research findings to patients receiving treatment and care.

HRI is finding solutions – supported by evidence – that will improve clinical practice and treatment outcomes. We connect leaders from across disciplines to discover new treatments, refine existing practices, and evaluate alternative approaches that will benefit all Canadians.

Dr. James MacKillop, HRI Senior Scientist, Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research at McMaster University, Director of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, and Director of the Michael E. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, is guiding the growth of HRI’s substance use research program.

Recognized as a leading addiction expert, Dr. MacKillop integrates perspectives from psychology, psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetics to enhance our understanding of substance use issues. He works with other experts, clinicians, evaluators and trainees to advance science that will improve treatment for Canadians with substance use disorders.

Research in Progress

Characterization of individuals receiving treatment for substance use and addiction

Led by HRI and McMaster University, this program of research explores how clinical symptoms may be linked to an individual’s experience of addiction.

Optimizing addiction screening and assessment tools to improve treatment

In this study, researchers are exploring how common screening and assessment tools can be optimized for people with addiction to improve treatment planning and outcomes.

Understanding how Alcoholics Anonymous promotes recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder

This study aims to understand the roles that impulsivity and social networks play in recovery success among people who participate in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Help us to improve treatment for our friends and loved ones living with substance use issues.