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Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs & Mental Health

Building the evidence base for what works

Our Impact

See all Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs & Mental Health Impacts

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  • 53M adults harmed by another's drinking, according to ARG research
  • 539 California cities & counties—every jurisdiction in the state—assessed on their local cannabis regulations
  • 200+ hospitals have adopted the CA Bridge model to provide Medication Assisted Treatment 24/7

Our Work

PHI is building the evidence base for what works to reduce the rates of substance use and mental health issues, with nationally recognized epidemiological research and an eye on inequities across populations. We also focus on substance use-related concerns such as physical injury, violence and mental health issues, and on improving interventions in primary care and treatment settings. PHI examines the role of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status in drinking and drug use. We evaluate treatment readiness and access. And we work on tobacco addiction and policy approaches to reduce its spread.

PHI Priority

Building Health Equity

Using an intersectional research analysis can identify health inequities that are otherwise lost or hidden in the data. A 2024 study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group found that completion rates for alcohol treatment are significantly lower for racially and ethnically minoritized women. When examining race and gender disparities separately, results were consistent with previous studies. But when using an intersectional approach, researchers uncovered a much broader range of disparities, particularly for minoritized women—pointing to the need for solutions that target the unique challenges and barriers to treatment faced by women of color, including limited treatment access, childcare, discrimination, job flexibility and lack of culturally tailored services.

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Wildfires & Extreme Heat: Resources to Protect Yourself & Your Community

Communities across the U.S. and around the world are grappling with dangerous wildfires and extreme heat. These threats disrupt and uproot communities and pose serious risks to environmental and community health—from rising temperatures, unhealthy air pollutants, water contamination and more. Find PHI tools, resources and examples to help communities take action and promote climate safety, equity and resiliency.

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