IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Addiction Marta Torrens

The The Addiction Research Group (GRAd) is a multidisciplinary team of health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses…). The main objective of the GRAd is to study addictions from different perspectives in order to improve prevention and treatment. Together with other groups from the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and other institutions, this group conducts research studies with the following main lines:

Clinical and therapeutic aspects of addictive disorders

In this field, the GRAd assesses new therapeutic approaches to treat addictions and how they are implemented on a clinical level.

  • Studies on drug treatments for opioid, cocaine and alcohol dependence.
  • Abused substances and gender differences
  • Studies to assess accessibility to treatment and the attitudes of non-specialized health professionals when dealing with these patients.
  • Studies on interventions to reduce the risks of consuming abused substances (HIV, HBV, HCV…) . 

Dual pathology, psychiatric comorbidity in addictive disorders

In recent years, the GRAd has focused on studying Dual Pathology, meaning the coexistence in a same patient of substance use disorders (SUDs) with other psychiatric disorders (depressive disorders, schizophrenia…). These “dual patients” constitute a high risk group from a clinical and social perspective.

From a clinical perspective, they frequently visit emergency services, they require more admissions to psychiatric centres, have a high suicidal prevalence, a high risk of becoming infected with HIV, Hepatitis B and C viruses (somatic comorbidity) and respond poorly to treatment. From a social perspective, they are highly conflictive socially, with high unemployment and marginality rates, and often display criminal or violent behaviour.

Studies to design and/or validate specific assessment tools for this population (PRISM and ECDD) have allowed the group to perform epidemiological studies, studies on therapeutic response to psychiatric comorbidity, and studies on gene-environment interaction for these patients. More

New abused substances

For this line of research studies are conducted on the detection, abuse potential and neurotoxicity of new abused substances: Legal highs, MDMA, GHB… in collaboration with the IMIM Research Group on Human Pharmacology and Clinical Neurosciences. More

Abused substances and gender differences

This is the newest line of research started at the GRAd coordinating a European-wide study (REDUCE http://www.thereduceproject.imim.es/)

The project “Reducing hepatitis C sexual and drug taking risk behaviours among female drug users in Europe (REDUCE): translating evidence into practice”, aims to reduce the hepatitis C virus infection in women that consume drugs. The European Commission Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security has funded this important project lasting 2 years and will be coordinated by Dr. Marta Torrens, a researcher at the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions (INAD) and in IMIM’s Neuroscience Programme. Other countries participating in this study are: Scotland, England, Poland, Austria and Italy. More

The project “The prevalence of intimate partner violence and its negative impact on substance use and mental health is high among female drug users". This intervention is a 10-session group intervention with cognitive behavioral techniques (CBT) to reduce intimate partner violence, depression and substance use among female drug users. The group intervention has been tested in a pilot-randomized controlled trial among women seeking treatment for substance use disorders in a drug community center in Barcelona.

Contact

Coordinator:
Marta Torrens

Tel:
93 248 31 75

Fax:
93 316 04 10

Dr. Aiguader, 88
08003 Barcelona

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