Dennis McCarty, PhD



BA (1971) University of Kentucky
MA (1976) University of Kentucky
PhD (1978) University of Kentucky

Primary Mission within the Department

Through collaboration with colleagues in the department, policy makers in state and local government, and practitioners in community treatment programs, Dr. McCarty seeks to enhance treatment of alcohol and drug use disorders, improve the quality of treatment services, and link policy, practice and research.


Specific Activities


  • Substance Abuse Policy Center in the Oregon Health Policy Institute – the SAPC works with state and local policy makers to improve the quality of services and the use of data on substance abuse treatment.

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (U10 DA015815) - The Western States node is one of 13 research centers collaborating to test emerging drug abuse treatments in community treatment settings (in partnership with U. of California, San Francisco, Jim Sorensen, PI).

Principal Investigator

  • Medication Research Partnership (R01 DA029716) - Collaboration with Aetna Healthcare and addiction treatment centers contracting with Aetna to facilitate system changes and increase the use of pharmacological therapies for treatment of alcohol and drug use disorders (research team includes investigators from Treatment Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, and University of California, San Francisco).


  • Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center (P50-DA018154) – Direct the Education Core coordinating training, education and outreach activities.
  • Payer/Treatment Agency Intervention to Increase Use of Buprenorphine (R01 DA030431)  – Ten counties in Ohio are collaborating to facilitate adoption and use of buprenorphine for treatment of opioid dependence (subcontract from University of Wisconsin – Todd Molfenter, PI).

Experience and Interests

Dennis McCarty, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and Principal Investigator for the Western States Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Dr. McCarty collaborates with policy makers in state and federal government and with community based programs to conduct studies that examine the organization, financing, and delivery of publicly funded substance abuse treatment services. He has been the Principal Investigator on grants and contracts funded through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  In additions to his research experience, Dr. McCarty has experience in policy-making environments.  Between 1989 and 1995 he served as the Director of the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In Oregon, Governor Kulongoski appointed him to the Alcohol and Drug Policy commission, and he was later reappointed by Governor Kitzhaber.  He served on the following three Institute of Medicine committees, Managing Managed Care: Quality Improvement in Behavioral Health Care, Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships with Community-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment, and Substance Use Disorders in the US Armed Forces.  


Recent Publications

Hartung, D., McCarty, D., Fu, R., Wiest, K., Chalk, M. & Gastfriend, D.R. (2014).  Extended-release naltrexone for alcohol and opioid dependence: A meta-analysis of healthcare utilization studies.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 47, 113 – 121.  doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.03.007.  PMCID: PMC4110954.

Green, C.A., McCarty, D., Mertens, J., Lynch, F.L., Hilde, A., Firemark, A., Weisner, C.M., Pating, D. & Anderson, B.M. (2014). A qualitative study of the adoption of buprenorphine for opioid addiction treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46, 390 - 401. PMCID: PMC3897203

Guydish, J., Campbell, B., Knappmanuel, J., Delucchi, K., Le, T., Peavy, M. & McCarty, D. (2014).  Does treatment fidelity predict client outcomes in 12-step facilitation for stimulant abuse?  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 134, 330 – 336. PMCID: PMC3914731.

Lynch, F.L., McCarty, D., Mertens, J., Perrin, N.A., Green, C.A., Parthasarathy, S., Dickerson, J.F., Anderson, B.A. & Pating, D. (2014). Costs of care for persons with opioid dependence in commercial integrated health systems. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 9: 16.  Doi:10.1186/1940-0640-9-16. PMCID: in process.

McCarty, D., Bovett, R., Burns, T., Cushing, J., Glynn, M.E., Kruse, J., Millet, L.M. & Shames, J. (2015).  Oregon's strategy to confront prescription opioid misuse: A case study.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 48, 91 – 95. PMCID: PMC4250344.

McCarty, D., Braude, L., Lyman, D.R., Dougherty, R.H., Daniels, A.S., Ghose, S.S. & Delphin-Rittmon, M.E. (2014). Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs: Assessing the evidence.  Psychiatric Services. 65 (6), 718 – 726.  doi: 10.1176/ PMID: 24445620.  PMCID: 4152944.

McConnell, K.J., Chang, A.M., Cohen, D.J., Wallace, N., Chernew, M.E., Kautz, G., McCarty, D., McFarland, B.H., Wright, B. & Smith, J.A. (2014).  Oregon's Medicaid transformation: An innovative approach to holding a health system accountable for spending growth.  Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. 2, 163 – 167.  PMCID: PMC4273859.