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Division of Substance Dependence


Among Americans, substance dependence is the psychiatric disorder that takes the most lives.  

The mission of the Division of Substance Dependence is “To reduce mortality and morbidity (death and suffering) from substance dependence in Colorado and nationally through clinical treatment, research, and teaching.” The Division was established in 1999, being built from the Department’s Addiction Research and Treatment Services (ARTS) and from associated research programs. ARTS had been established since 1971.

T.J. Crowley, MD, joined the organization as Director in 1979, and J.T. Brewster, LCSW, had joined ARTS in 1978. Together they have been an unusually effective team, attracting other very productive faculty members.

Brewster finds funds to build and expand clinical treatment programs. Crowley consults to ARTS, and meanwhile has developed a strong NIH-supported program of basic and clinical research in substance dependence. The Division now is larger than many universities’ departments of psychiatry, and larger than some current departments of the CU School of Medicine. On any given day ARTS has more than 1,300 patients active in outpatient, day-treatment, or residential care. 

The Division's faculty enjoys a strong national research reputation. The Division has 11 faculty members above the rank of Instructor; most are Principal Investigators on current or just-completed NIH or other research grants or contracts. The Division faculty members also actively teach medical students, residents, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff from Colorado’s various treatment agencies, and members of the general public.