Dr. Debra Podus

ISAP Researchers' Profiles

Deborah Podus, Ph.D.

Deborah Podus, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Sociologist at UCLA ISAP whose primary research interests are treatment effectiveness and substance abuse treatment policy. Dr. Podus has conducted numerous policy and treatment-related projects at ISAP including, most recently, research on disaster preparedness for disruptions in methadone treatment and research on migration and substance abuse among first generation Mexican migrants. Other studies have focused on the intersection between substance abuse and welfare reform, research on the impact of the termination of SSI benefits to persons disabled by substance abuse, and research on methadone treatment regulation. She has also been Co-PI and project director for several meta-analyses on various aspects of drug abuse treatment. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, the Center on Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the California Policy Research Center, and UC MEXUS. Podus has a doctorate in Sociology from Rutgers University and received postdoctoral training in mental health service systems and evaluation research at UCLA.


  • drug abuse treatment policy
  • substance abuse and welfare reform
  • methadone treatment regulation
  • meta-analysis
  • disaster preparedness
  • health insurance reform

Contact Info

UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
11075 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Selected Publications

Prendergast, M.L., Podus, D., Chang, E., & Urada, D. (2002). The effectiveness of drug abuse treatment: A meta-analysis of comparison group studies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 67: 53-72.

Podus, D., Change, E., Brecht, L., Swartz, J., & Anglin, M.D. (2003). Substance abuse prevalence among reclassified and former recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for drug addiction and alcoholism. Journal of Contemporary Drug Problems 30(1-2):275-290.

Podus, D., Barron, N., Chang, E., Watkins, K., Guydish, J., & Anglin, M.D. (2003). Medical and mental health services utilization among reclassified and former recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for drug addiction and alcoholism. Journal of Contemporary Drug Problems 30(1-2):365-390.

Prendergast, M., Podus, D., Finney, J., Greenwell, L. & Roll, J. (2006). Contingency management for the treatment of substance use disorders: A meta-analysis. Addiction 101(11):1546-1560.

Campos, M.D., Podus, D., Anglin, M.D., & Warda U. (2008). Mental health need and substance abuse problem risk: Acculturation among Latinas as a protective factor among CalWORKs applicants and recipients. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 7(3):268-291.

Maxwell, J.C., Podus, D., & Walsh, D., (2009). Lessons learned from the deadly sisters: Substance abuse treatment disruption and consequences from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Substance Use & Misuse 44(12):1681-1694.

Podus, D. (May 2009). Disaster Planning and Opioid Treatment Programs. The Dialogue, vol. 5, issue 3, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

Podus, D., Maxwell, J.C., & Anglin, M.D., (2011). Public health emergencies and substance abuse in G.B. Kapur and J.P. Smith (eds.), Emergency Public Health: Preparedness and Response. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, pp. 531-543.

Pearson, F. S., Prendergast, M. Podus, D., Vazan, P., Greenwell, L., & Hamilton, Z. (2012). Meta-analyses of seven of NIDA’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 43, 1-11. (NIHMSID #333144)

Prendergast, M., Pearson, F. S., Podus, D., Hamilton, Z., & Greenwell, L. (2013). The Andrews’ principles of risk, need, and responsivity as applied in drug treatment programs: Meta-analysis of crime and drug use outcomes. Journal of Experimental Criminology. DOI: 10.1007/s11292-013-9178-z. (NIHMS475411)

Last updated - 08/19/2015

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