Eric C Strain, M.D.

  • Director, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University SOM
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Addiction Psychiatry Services, Adult Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse Research more

Research Interests

Clinical research in substance abuse, including medications development, abuse liability testing, psychiatric comorbidity, and behavioral interventions. more

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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-550-0016
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-1191 | Fax: 410-550-0030

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-550-0016
5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle
Asthma and Allergy Center
Baltimore, MD 21224 map


Dr. Strain is the Director of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (the "BPRU"). The BPRU is one of the nation's oldest research programs dedicated to studying substance use disorders, and conducts rigorous research to further our understanding and treatment of these conditions. The BPRU has 15 full-time faculty, and conducts clinical research with all types of drug abuse. He is also the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research, and the Executive Vice-Chair for Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He maintains an active research program in substance abuse related issues, provides clinical care to patients, teaches medical students and residents, and provides administrative supervision in the maintenance of current substance abuse programs and the development of new substance abuse initiatives at Johns Hopkins. In addition to his responsibilities at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Strain has served on various study sections for NIH (and has chaired a standing study section), and he serves as the Editor in Chief for the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He is on the editorial board for several other journals, and he edited, with Maxine Stitzer, the books Methadone Treatment for Opioid Dependence and The Treatment of Opioid Dependence, and with Pedro Ruiz edited the fifth edition of Lowinson and Ruiz’s Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. He was the lead in developing the first buprenorphine curriculum, which has been subsequently used as the primary resource to train physicians in the use of this medication for the treatment of opioid dependence. He was Chair of the Food and Drug Administration's Drug Abuse Advisory Committee, and the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry. He has served on the boards of The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (for which he was President), the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems. He also has served on various committees for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and is a frequent reviewer for scientific journals in the area of substance misuse. Dr. Strain is the recipient of several competitive grant awards from the National Institute of Health, and has published extensively on substance misuse-related matters. His research areas have included topics such as the optimal mechanisms for treating patients with substance use disorders, including opioid and cocaine dependence, the relationship between substance misuse and other psychiatric disorders, the abuse liability of novel medications, and the development of new pharmacotherapies for substance abuse treatment (including opioids and alcohol). His studies have included medications such as buprenorphine, methadone and LAAM, pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence, and non-pharmacologic treatments for substance use disorders. more


  • Director, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University SOM
  • Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research
  • Section Head, JHB Psychiatry Substance Abuse Programs
  • Executive Vice Chair, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Medicine; The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (1984)


  • Psychiatry; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1989)


  • Behavioral Pharmacology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1990)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology (Addiction Psychiatry) (1993)
  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology (Psychiatry) (1989)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Reissig C.J., Strain E.C., Griffiths R.R. Caffeinated energy drinks – a growing problem. Drug Alcohol Depend 99:1-10, 2009.

Strain E.C., Harrison J.A., Bigelow G.E. Induction of opioid-dependent individuals onto buprenorphine and buprenorphine/naloxone soluble-films. Clin Pharmacol Ther 89:443-9, 2011.

Duke A.N., Bigelow G.E., Lanier R.K., Strain E.C. Discriminative stimulus effects of tramadol in humans. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 338:255-62, 2011.

Winstanley E.L., Bigelow G.E., Silverman K., Johnson R.E., Strain E.C. A randomized controlled trial of fluoxetine in the treatment of cocaine dependence among methadone-maintained patients. J Subst Abuse Treatment 40:255-64, 2011.

Marvel C.L., Faulkner M.L., Strain E.C., Mintzer M.Z., Desmond J.E. An fMRI investigation of cerebellar function during verbal working memory in methadone maintenance patients. In press, Cerebellum.

Activities & Honors


  • The George E. Bigelow Professor

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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