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Addiction Analytic Resources and Methodology Solutions (AARMS)

Mission Statement

To connect individuals and organizations interested in advancing addiction knowledge, treatment, research, or policy with resources and experts in the field to promote a higher level of understanding, innovation, and impact.


An aim of the University of Utah’s Greater Intermountain Node (GIN) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institution on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to conduct a myriad of research regarding opioid use, misuse, and use disorder and other substance use disorders within existing large databases (e.g., claims, administrative, addiction) and health systems databases (e.g., hospital, outpatient clinics) using traditional and emerging methodologies (e.g., machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing). Within the University of Utah and the Utah Department of Health, the Utah Population Database (UPDB) is a rich source of detailed information on epidemiology, public health, demography, and genetics that has supported numerous research projects and has the potential to efficiently support research on opioids, addiction, and associated health outcomes.

Statement of Problem

There is a need to enhance the productivity and efficiency of opioid and substance use disorder research within large databases, like the UPDB, and to assist existing and emerging investigators in framing research questions to holders of large databases in opioid and substance use disorder research domains. Furthermore, there is a need to provide institutional memory approaches to database inquiries to streamline data pulls for investigators/stakeholders.


The GIN will serve as a clinical and research consultative service and collaborate with the UPDB. Through this service—GIN Addiction Analytic Resources and Methodology Solutions—GIN faculty and staff will provide consultation to researchers and UPDB staff as they interact with a goal to improve efficiency of processes in compliance with the standards and formats of UPDB.


GIN Addiction Analytic Resources and Methodology Solutions will provide expertise in addiction-related clinical care, epidemiology, data management, and research, allowing for the facilitation of the following under the umbrella of the UPDB:

•    Provide a data infrastructure that integrates and presents a comprehensive data source for opioid use and health outcomes
•    Construct variables that are specific to opioid use and misuse
•    Maintain documentation of data set and created variables
•    Manage and maintain master datasets and work files
•    Preserve past and present coding algorithms for future use
•    Provide clinical and research consultation to researchers/stakeholders and UPDB staff regarding data pulls


•    Increase opioid research productivity
•    Foster more and new research collaborations
•    Reduce the burden on the UPDB team to address the rapidly increasing number of data requests related to opioid use.

Future Directions

Expand GIN/UPDB’s role in creating and maintaining the opioid-use database to other addiction drugs.


Adam Gordon, MD MPH FACP DFASAM Principal Investigator
Jerry Cochran, PhD MSW Principal Investigator
Jacob D Baylis, MPH Sr. Research Analyist
John A Saunders, PharmD Pharmacist Supervisor
Sophie Huebler, MS Graduate Research Assistant