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Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies

PLNDP Physician Associate UPDATE
May 1999

Dear Colleagues,

One of the earliest and most important goals of the PLNDP was to empower a group of physicians to become actively involved in impacting and changing our national drug policy.  The hope was that such change would be motivated by education. Nearly eighteen months after its founding, the PLNDP has made great progress in raising public awareness and preparing research reports on pertinent issues.  Two major research reports, “Addiction and Addiction Treatment” and “Health, Addiction Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System,” have been presented to PLNDP members, representatives from national substance abuse organizations, and members of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Substance Abuse.

In line with these goals, the project office has created a PLNDP Action Kit, which contains:

1) copies of major editorials written and published by PLNDP members to raise public awareness about the group’s activities
2) annotated graphics from both research reports
3) a set of teaching slides summarizing the goals of the PLNDP, its membership, and the primary findings of the research reports.

This kit includes all the materials you need to educate yourself and others about the PLNDP and its activities.  Enclosed is a sheet with examples of the slides included in the PLNDP Action Kit.

This Action Kit was developed to be used as an aid for educating colleagues, students, medical and professional societies, politicians, and the general public about the consensus and activities of the PLNDP. Since policy changes of the scope and caliber we seek rely as much on law and politics as they do on the education and opinions of local communities, your efforts in reaching such populations will be invaluable.  If you are interested in using selected teaching slides from the PLNDP Action Kit for lectures or presentations, please contact Kathryn Cates-Wessel at 401-444-1816 or  All of the Action Kit graphics and materials can currently be viewed on the web.

If you do not have web access, please complete the form on the back of this newsletter and we will be happy to send you a hard copy of the Action Kit materials.

Please take a moment to review the current news from the Project Office, including updates on the second PLNDP videotape report, the newly-launched PLNDP Medical Student Associates, and the unveiling of the Physician Associate Directory on the web.


David C. Lewis, M.D.
Project Director

State Medical Society Endorsements

Both PLNDP members and PLNDP Physician Associates have been working with the national project office on approaching state medical societies and encouraging them to endorse the consensus statement of the PLNDP.  Each of these individual efforts have been very successful; so far the following medical societies have endorsed the PLNDP Consensus Statement:

Pima County Medical Society (AZ)
California Medical Association
Medical Association of Georgia
Kentucky Medical Association  
Nebraska Medical Association
Oklahoma State Medical Association

In addition, we are delighted to note that PLNDP Physician Associates have facilitated the endorsement of our consensus statement by several national professional organizations.

Videotape Report Update

The first PLNDP video, Drug Addiction: The Promise of Treatment, has been very well-received and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. A wide variety of groups--from healthcare educators, practicing physicians, and medical students, to criminal justice professionals, judges, and those in the treatment field--have viewed the video and shared its message with others.

If you would like to request additional copies, please complete the form on our web page or contact us directly by phone (401-444-1817) or email

Newly Released

The second PLNDP research report “Health, Addiction Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System” was presented in November, 1998. Another videotape report, Trial, Treatment, and Transformation, was generated from this research, and has just been released.  This video presents evidence on the effectiveness of treatment programs as compared to incarceration and includes comments from a number of experts in the field. In addition, the video features the story of two successful drug court graduates. This humanistic element will help spark discussions about addiction and the criminal justice system among a wide range of audiences. As with the first video, we invite you to request a complimentary copy of Trial, Treatment, and Transformation by filling out the form below or using our on-line request form.

Physician Associates Directory

We are pleased to announce that we will be unveiling the Physician Associates Directory on the web on June 1, 1999.  The directory has been created to promote contact among Physician Associates and it will allow you to share ideas and combine efforts with other Physician Associates within your specialty or in your state or county.

Only Physician Associates will be given the Directory’s web address and the directory pages will not be linked to any other web pages; thus, all external access to this information will be blocked.  Those Physician Associates who returned postcards requesting that their names not be included in the directory have been excluded.

If you do not wish to have your name included in the Physician Associates Directory , please call or email the project office or return the card that you received with the September, 1998 newsletter by May 24th.

Medical Student Associates

The Medical Student Associates of the PLNDP were recently establishedIn March, the PLNDP introduced its message and materials at the annual American Medical Student Association conference in Chicago. This spring, information about the project was mailed to thousands of first, second, and third-year medical students.  We’re still receiving hundreds of enthusiastic responses from students in medical schools across the country.  In the future, it is hoped that Medical Student Associates and Physician Associates can collaborate issues of both local and national concern.

If you are in contact with medical students who might be interested in learning more about this group, please pass on the PLNDP web site address to them or have them call 401-444-1821

Similarly, feel free to invite any of your colleagues who are interested in the PLNDP’s message to join as Physician Associates. Physicians can sign up on the PLNDP homepage by clicking on “Keeping Informed: Physician Associates.” If it would be more convenient, they can contact the national project office at 401-444-1817 for a sign-up form.

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