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Rhode Island College has established the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Studies. The mission of the Center is to be a hub for the translational exchange of scientific knowledge among research, training, workforce, and community contexts on topics relating to addictive disorders and other behavioral health problems.

Rhode Island (RI) is among the states with the highest rates of substance use, abuse and dependency in the country. Indeed, Rhode Island is second in the country in the percentage (10.4%) of past year illicit drug or alcohol dependency or abuse and ninth in the percentage (5.3%) of non-medical use of pain medication1. Gambling addiction is also a significant health concern in Rhode Island as national estimates suggest that almost 25,000 adults (3.0%) may be at risk for the disorder2.

The pernicious behavioral health problems and related costs associated with substance abuse, dependency, and disordered gambling are extensive. Considering how family and larger systems (e.g., communities, healthcare, etc.) are affected, hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders are adversely affected by addictive disorders. These problems contribute to increased health care costs, loss of productivity by the state’s workers, and the growing strain on the state’s social services. The dissemination of evidence-based information is essential to effectively confronting the complex challenges of addiction and associated health risks.

The Center will expand the activities Rhode Island College already conducts in collaboration with area institutions, professionals and community groups in an effort to bridge the gap between knowledge and evidence-based practice.


  1. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2011 and 2012.
  2. Kessler, R. C., Hwang, I., LaBrie, R., Petukhova, M., Sampson, N. A., Winters, K. C., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). DSM-IV pathological gambling in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Psychological medicine, 38(9), 1351-1360.​​​

Page last updated: April 07, 2016