David A. Patterson Silver Wolf, PhD, is an associate professor at Washington University in St Louis’ Brown School of Social Work. He arrived in St. Louis in 2012 after holding an assistant professor position at the University at Buffalo’s school of social work. Patterson Silver Wolf is a faculty scholar in the Washington University Institute for Public Health, Research Director in the Buder Center and serves as training faculty for two NIH- funded (T32) training programs at the Brown School, including the Transdisciplinary Training in Addictions Research program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Before entering academics, he spent over fifteen-years providing clinical services in the substance use disorder treatment field and is a person who has sustained a life in recovery since 1989. His life and educational path has been featured in the New York Times.
Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf investigates how to best implement evidence-based interventions and technologies into community-based services. He is leading a new technology start up, Takoda, that develops technology tools to measure and monitor treatment and recovery performance in real-time and in patient’s own communities.
He is the author of a forthcoming book, The New Addiction Treatment: From Good Intentions and Bad Intuitions to Data, Performance and Technology, published by University Oxford Press. Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf is a widely published author and speaker on his own recovery and academic journey, along with how substance use disorder and behavioral health treatment systems can improve quality and equality of care for patients.
He leads the Brown School of Social Work’s substance use disorder course track training the next generation of frontline therapists.
What motivates Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf to improve addiction treatment systems? He has been propelled by the idea of: I didn’t come this far, to come this far.
The practices, protocols and performance outcomes throughout the addiction treatment industry mirror what he experienced in 1989 when he walked into treatment. Unfortunately, this industry has moved little beyond the treatment that the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, entered in the 1930’s.
Like Cancer, addiction is effectively treated with a planned sequence of scientifically interventions that are measured and monitored in real-time making the necessary clinical adjustments based on performance outcomes.
According to Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf, addiction treatment facilities across our nation is fundamentally grounded in good intentions and bad intuitions. There are no real-world and real-time performance data tools or practices that guide the delivery of addiction treatment in America.
Bringing science, data and technologies (i.e., performance-based practices) to addiction treatment services is the primary focus of CAPA and Dr. Patterson Silver Wolf’s agenda.