Researchers' Profiles

Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D.

Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., is the retired Co-Director of UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and now Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, in which he has been a member for more than 20 years. He received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Vermont in 1974. Dr. Rawson oversees clinical trials on pharmacological and psychosocial addiction treatments. He is principal investigator of the NIDA grants on aerobic exercise, screening and brief intervention in a mental health setting, and a Fogarty training grant between UCLA and Cairo University. He also is principal investigator of the SAMHSA/PEPFAR: Cooperative Agreement for Workforce Development in Vietnam: HIV-Addiction Technology Transfer Center and recently completed the SAMHSA/Department of State: Iraq Drug Demand Reduction Initiative. He has led addiction research and training projects for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Drosos Foundation and the U.S. State Department, exporting science-based knowledge to many parts of the world. Dr. Rawson has published 3 books, 35 book chapters, and over 200 peer-reviewed articles and has conducted over 1,000 workshops, paper presentations, and training sessions.

  • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, B.A., Psychology, 1970
  • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, Ph.D., Psychology, 1974
  • Methamphetamine
  • Behavioral Treatment Research
  • Medication Research
  • Treatment System Evaluation
  • International Addiction Research
  • Addiction Training

For a complete list of Dr. Rawson’s publications, please visit

Recent Peer-reviewed Publications (From a List of 200+)

  1. Robertson, C.L., Ishibashi, K., Chudzynski, J., Mooney, L.J., Rawson, R.A., Dolezal, B.A., Cooper, C.B., Brown, A.K., Mankelkern, M.A., & London, E.D. (in press). Effect of exercise training on striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptors in methamphetamine users during behavioral treatment. Neuropsychophamacology. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.331
  2. Rawson, R.A., Chudzynski, J., Mooney, L., Gonzales, R., Ang, A., Dickerson, D., Penate, J., Salem, B.A., Dolezal, B., & Cooper, C.B. (2015). Impact of an exercise intervention on methamphetamine use outcomes post-residential treatment care. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 156, 21-28. PMCID: PMC4633370.
  3. Cousins, S.J. , Denering, L., Crèvecoeur-MacPhail, D., Viernes, J., Sugita, W., Barger, J., Kim, T., Weismann, S., & Rawson, R.A. (2015). A demonstration project implementing extended-release naltrexone in Los Angeles County. Substance Abuse. DOI: 10.1080/08897077.2015.1052868
  4. Rawson, R.A., Woody, G., Kresina, T.F., & Gust, S. (2015). The globalization of addiction research: Capacity building mechanisms and selected examples. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 23(2), 147-156. PMCID: PMC4356020  doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000067
  5. Haglund, M., Ang, A., Mooney, L., Gonzales, R., Chudzynski, J., Cooper, C.B., Dolezal, B.A., Gitlin, M., & Rawson, R.A. (2015). Predictors of depression outcomes among abstinent methamphetamine-dependent individuals exposed to an exercise treatment. American Journal on Addictions, 24(3), 246-251. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12175.
  6. Rawson, R.A., Chudzynski, J., Gonzales, R., Mooney, L., Dickerson, D., Ang, A., Dolezal, B., & Cooper, C.B. (2015). The impact of exercise on depression and anxiety symptoms among abstinent methamphetamine-dependent individuals in a residential treatment setting. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 57, 36-40. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2015.04.007. PMC4560957
  7. Messina, N., Jeter, K., Marinelli-Casey, P., West, K., Rawson, R.A. (2014). Children exposed to methamphetamine use and manufacture. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(11), 1872-1883. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.06.009. PMCID: PMC3029499
  8. Radfar, S.R., Sedaghat, A., Banihashemi, A.T., Gouya, M., & Rawson, R.A. (2014). Behaviors influencing human immunodeficiency virus transmission in the context of positive prevention among people living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in Iran: A qualitative study. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5(8), 976-983. PMCID: PMC4258663
  9. Nosyk, B., Li, L., Evans, E., Urada, D., Huang, D., Wood, E., Rawson, R., & Hser, Y.-I. (2015). Erratum to “Utilization and outcomes of detoxification and maintenance treatment for opioid dependence in publicly-funded facilities in California, US: 1991–2012” [Drug Alcohol Depend. 143 (2014) 149–157]. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 148, 230-232.  doi:
  10. Nosyk, B., Li, L., Evans, E., Urada, D., Huang, D., Wood, E., Rawson, R., & Hser, Y.-I. (2014). Utilization and outcomes of detoxification and maintenance treatment for opioid dependence in publicly-funded facilities in California, US: 1991-2012.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 143, 149-157. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.07.020 PMCID: PMC4484858
  11. Radfar, S.R., & Rawson, R.A. (2014). Current research on methamphetamine: Epidemiology, medical and psychiatric effects, treatment, and harm reduction efforts. Addiction & Health, 6(3-4), 146-154.   PMCID: PMC4354220.
  12. Urada, D., Rawson, R.A., & Onuki, M. (2014). Peace building through a substance use conference structured on peace psychology principles. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 20(1), 84-94.
  13. Al-Hemiary, N.J., Al-Diwan, J.K., Hasson, A.L., & Rawson, R.A. (2014). Drug and alcohol use in Iraq: Findings of the inaugural Iraqi Community Epidemiological Workgroup. Substance Use & Misuse, 49(13), 1759-1763. DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2014.913633.  PMCID: PMC4431571
  14. Rawson, R.A., Rieckmann, T., & Gust, S.W. (2014). Addiction science: A rationale and tools for a public health response to drug abuse. Public Health Reviews, 35(2). NIHMSID 644383
  15. Urada, D., Teruya, C., Gelberg, L., & Rawson, R. (2014). Integration of substance use disorder services with primary care: Health center surveys and qualitative interviews. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 9(1), 15. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-9-15 PMCID: PMCID 3978198
  16. Dolezal, B.A., Chudzynski, J., Dickerson, D., Mooney, L., Rawson, R.A., Garfinkel, A., Cooper, C.B. (2014). Exercise training improves heart rate variability after methamphetamine dependency. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46(6), 1057-1066. PMCID: PMC3999306