Alison Oliveto, Ph.D.

olivetoDr. Alison Oliveto joined the Center for Addiction Research (CAR) faculty in 2004 as a Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and became CAR Director in 2016. A behavioral pharmacologist by training, Dr. Oliveto has primarily focused on research investigating potential medications and evidence-based behavioral interventions to improve treatments for opioid, cocaine and/or methamphetamine use disorders. Having become increasingly frustrated with the life-long struggle drug use disordered patients face as well as the barriers many face to accessing treatment, Dr. Oliveto started shifting some of her efforts toward investigating and disseminating effective treatment and/or prevention strategies. Since 2019, she has been partnering with the Arkansas Department of Human Services and University of Little Rock MidSOUTH to expand the capacity of the Statewide Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, which helps guide prevention activities in the state.

Prior and current research interests include examining the following:

  • The impact of medications on psychostimulant withdrawal and/or relapse among recently abstinent psychostimulant users
  • The efficacy of non-opioid medications to reduce opioid withdrawal and/or craving and improve outcomes during outpatient buprenorphine-assisted detoxification and transition to injection naltrexone
  • Effective strategies for prevention of opioid overdose and/or treatment engagement of opioid use disordered individuals presenting at the emergency department
  • Developing and testing the efficacy of a gamified opioid misuse prevention intervention for adolescents
  • Help guide effective substance use prevention activities in the state of Arkansas through monitoring trends and risk/protective factors, researching and disseminating evidence-based prevention practices and informational materials, and assisting with promoting unified prevention messages (For more information, go to

Research Study to Improve Treatment Outcomes for Prescription Pain Killer Users


Wilson, M.P., Cucciare, M., Porter, A., Chalmers, C., Mullinax, S., Mancino, M., Oliveto, A. The utility of a statewide prescription drug-monitoring database vs the Current Opioid Misuse Measure for identifying drug-aberrant behaviors in emergency department patients already on opioids. American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2020 Mar;38(3):503-507. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2019.05.035.Epub 2019 May 17.

Bashiri, M., Mancino, M.J., Stanick, V.A., Thostenson, J., Kosten, T.R., and Oliveto, A.H. (2017) Moderators of response to sertraline versus placebo among recently abstinent, cocaine dependent patients: A retrospective analysis of two clinical trials. The American Journal on Addictions 26(8):807-814. PMC5699965

Mancino, M.J., McGaugh, J., Chopra, M., Guise, J.B., Cargile, C., Williams, D.K., Thostenson, J., Kosten, T.R., Sanders, N., and Oliveto, A. (2014) Clinical Efficacy of Sertraline Alone and Augmented with Gabapentin in Recently Abstinent Cocaine-Dependent Patients with Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 34(2): 234-9. PMC4068618

Sanders, N.C., Mancino, M.J., Gentry, W.B., Guise, J.B., Bickel, W.K., Oliveto, A.H. (2013) Randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial of gabapentin during an outpatient, buprenorphine-assisted detoxification procedure. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 21(4): 294-302. doi: 10.1037/a0033724. Epub 2013 Jul 15. PMC3972066

Oliveto, A.H., Sanders, N., Mancino, M., Cargile, C., Guise, J.B., Bickel, W.K., and Gentry, W.B. (2013) Effects of prototypic calcium channel blockers in methadone-maintained humans responding under a naloxone discrimination procedure. European Journal of Pharmacology 715(1-3): 424-35. PMC3759565

Atkinson T.S., Sanders, N., Mancino, M.J., Oliveto, A. (2013) QTc Interval in Cocaine Dependent Patients: Impact of Opioid Dependence Status, Disulfiram and Recent Cocaine Use. Journal of Addiction Medicine 7(4): 243-8. PMC3737260

Oliveto, A., Poling, J., Mancino, M.J., Williams, D.K., Thostenson, J., Pruzinsky, R., Gonsai, K., Sofuoglu, M., Gonzalez, G., Tripathi, S., and Kosten, T.R. (2012) Sertraline Delays Relapse in Recently Abstinent Cocaine-Dependent Patients with Depressive Symptoms. Addiction 107(1): 131-141. PMC3237722

Mancino, M.J., Gentry, W.B., Feldman, Z., Mendelson, J.E., and Oliveto, A. (2011) Characterizing methamphetamine withdrawal in recently abstinent methamphetamine users: A pilot field study. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 37(2): 131-6. PMC3063384

Oliveto, A., Poling, J., Mancino, M.J., Feldman, Z., Cubells, J.F., Pruzinsky, R., Gonsai, K., Cargile, C., Sofuoglu, M., Chopra, M., Gonzalez-Haddad, G., Carroll, K.M., and Kosten, T.R. (2011) Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of disulfiram for the treatment of cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 113(2-3): 184-91. PMC3005977

Oliveto, A., Pruzinsky, R., Poling J., Gentry, W.B., Martell, B., Gonsai, K., and Kosten, T.R. (2010) Behavioral effects of GHB in humans. Behavioural Pharmacology, 21(4):332-42. PMC2911496