UW News

October 24, 2006

Opiate-addicted people, women with suicidal behavior needed for studies

The Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington are looking for Puget Sound men and women who have an opiate addiction and women with suicidal behavior to volunteer for two studies designed to refine a therapeutic treatment for people who have trouble regulating their emotions.

To participate in one of the studies, people must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and live close enough to the UW’s Seattle campus — generally the area from Tacoma to Everett — so they can receive treatment two or three times a week for a year. Volunteers can be self-referred or referred by a therapist, family member or friend.

For one study, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, researchers are looking for 50 men and women who are addicted to heroin, morphine, codeine, vicodin, oxycodone or another opiate. People who are presently receiving successful treatment with methadone or another opiate replacement medication are not eligible to participate. People accepted as volunteers will receive suboxone, a new replacement drug, and half will receive cognitive behavior therapy. The other half will receive suboxone plus drug counseling.

All persons accepted into this study will receive one year of individual or group counseling and two years of the replacement medication at no cost. They also will receive a free psychological assessment every four months for two years. They will be required to visit the UW clinic three times a week.

Thirty women with borderline personality disorder are needed for the second study, which is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. These women should have a long-running pattern of using inappropriate behavior to deal with emotional pain. Women with a serious psychotic disorder or a seizure disorder that requires medication are not eligible for this study. Women in this study will receive individual or group therapy twice a week for a year with a sliding fee scale for their treatment. They also will receive free psychological evaluations every four months for two years.

Borderline personality disorder is a serious but treatable psychiatric disorder, said Marsha Linehan, UW psychology professor and director of the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics, who is directing the research. An estimated 5.8 to 8.7 million Americans, primarily women, suffer from borderline personality disorder.

People with it have a multiple spectrum of disorders that is marked by emotional instability, difficulty in maintaining close relationships, eating disorders, uncertainty about life goals, and impulsive and addictive behaviors such as using drugs and alcohol. People with the disorder also may in engage in self-injurious behaviors or attempt suicide.

People who would like to volunteer for either study or have questions should contact research study coordinators Derry O’Kane or K.T. Hoang at (206) 543-2782 or by e-mail at derryo@u.washington.edu  or tkhoang@brtc.psych.washington.edu . Information also is available on the Web at http://www.brtc.psych.washington.edu/


For more information, contact Linehan at (206) 543-2782 or linehan@u.washington.edu