University of Maryland Drug Treatment Center 1001 W. Pratt Street
Education and Training
- Loyola University New Orleans, BA, Psychology
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH-IRP/NIH), Laboratory of Neuropsychology (mentor: Mortimer Mishkin), Pre-Doctoral IRTA
- University of California, Irvine, PhD, Neurobiology & Behavior (mentor: John F. Marshall)
- University of California, Santa Barbara, MacArthur Foundation Law & Neuroscience Project Post-Doctoral Fellow (mentors: Michael Gazzaniga and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA-IRP/NIH), Neuroimaging Research Branch (mentors: Elliot A. Stein and Afonso C. Silva), Post-Doctoral IRTA
My research interests are in the identification of novel approaches to increase retention and adherence to evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorder.
Other areas of research interest include:
-Implementation and clinical outcomes of hub-and-spoke telemedicine-based buprenorphine treatment in rural jails and other settings
-Co-morbid mental health disorders
Opioid Use Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Methadone Treatment, Individual Differences, Susceptibility and Resilience to SUD, Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Treatment, Telemedicine for OUD, Addiction
A complete list of all published work can be found in MyNCBI:
Harm Reduct J. 2023 Feb 14;20(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00745-6. PubMed PMID: 36788601; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9928141Harm reduction behaviors are associated with carrying naloxone among patients on methadone treatment.
Belcher AM*, Coble K, Cole TO, Welsh CJ, Whitney A, Weintraub E. Buprenorphine Induction in a Rural Maryland Detention Center During COVID-19: Implementation and Preliminary Outcomes of a Novel Telemedicine Treatment Program for Incarcerated Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 28;12:703685. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.703685. PMID: 34777036.
Weintraub E, Seneviratne C, Anane J, Coble K, Magidson J, Kattakuzhy S, Greenblatt A, Welsh C, Pappas A, Ross TL, Belcher AM. Mobile Telemedicine for Buprenorphine Treatment in Rural Populations With Opioid Use Disorder. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2118487. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.18487. PMID: 34448869.
Deutsch-Link S, Belcher AM*, Massey E, Cole TO, Wagner MA, Billing AS, Greenblatt AD, Weintraub E, Wish ED. Race-based differences in drug use prior to onset of opioid use disorder. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2021 Feb 7:1-17. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2021.1879702. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33554763.
Weintraub E, Greenblatt AD, Chang J, Welsh CJ, Berthiaume AP, Goodwin SR, Arnold R, Himelhoch SS, Bennett ME, Belcher AM*. Outcomes for patients receiving telemedicine-delivered medication-based treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: A retrospective chart review. Heroin Addict Relat Clin Probl. 2021;23(2):5-12. PMID: 33551692.
Cole TO, Robinson D, Kelley-Freeman A, Gandhi D, Greenblatt AD, Weintraub E, Belcher AM*. Patient Satisfaction With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment via Telemedicine: Brief Literature Review and Development of a New Assessment. Front Public Health. 2021 Jan 21;8:557275. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.557275. PMID: 33553083.
Belcher AM*, Cole TO, Greenblatt AD, Hoag SW, Epstein DH, Wagner M, Billing AS, Massey E, Hamilton KR, Kozak ZK, Welsh CJ, Weintraub E, Wickwire EM, Wish ED, Kaptchuk TJ, Colloca L. Open-label dose-extending placebos for opioid use disorder: a protocol for a randomised controlled clinical trial with methadone treatment. BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 21;9(6):e026604. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026604. PubMed PMID: 31230007
Cai NS, Quiroz C, Bonaventura J, Bonifazi A, Cole TO, Purks J, Billing AS, Massey E, Wagner M, Wish ED, Guitart X, Rea W, Lam S, Moreno E, Casadó-Anguera V, Greenblatt AD, Jacobson AE, Rice KC, Casadó V, Newman AH, Winkelman JW, Michaelides M, Weintraub E, Volkow ND, Belcher AM*, Ferré S*. Opioid-galanin receptor heteromers mediate the dopaminergic effects of opioids. J Clin Invest. 2019 Mar 26;130:2730-2744. doi: 10.1172/JCI126912. PubMed PMID: 30913037
Belcher AM, Lejuez CW, Moeller FG, Volkow ND and Ferre S (2018). Choice Impulsivity, a drug-modifiable personality trait. In: Pickard and Ahmed (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction.
Belcher AM, Volkow ND, Moeller FG, Ferré S. Personality traits and vulnerability or resilience to substance use disorders. Trends Cogn Sci. 2014 Apr;18(4):211-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.01.010. Epub 2014 Mar 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 24612993
Belcher AM, Volkow ND, Moeller F, Ferre S. The Cognitive Neurosciences V (fifth edition). Gazzaniga MS, Mangun GR, editors. Cambridge: MIT; 2014. Chapter 88, Society and addiction: Bringing understanding toward appreciation of a mental health disorder. p.1035-1042.
Awards and Affiliations
2021 American Society of Addiction Medicine Honorable Mention: Underserved Populations
2019 Research highlighted on the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation blog (“Methadone May be Less Addictive Than Other Opioids, Study Finds” April 8, 2019)
2019 Interviewed for research that was featured as a “NIDA Science Spotlight” (“Opioids without the risk of addiction?” March 26, 2019)
2013 NIDA FARE Award for Research Excellence
2011 NIDA Director’s Award of Merit
2008 American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Policy Fellowship (declined)
2007 UCI Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Program Awardee
Links of Interest
2018-present Academic Project Supervisor, UMB Department of Psychiatry Addiction Psychiatry/Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program. The one-year Fellowship (Directors: Devang Gandhi, MD & Aaron Greenblatt, MD) admits a new cohort of 2-4 Fellows every year. I work with trainees in groups and in one-on-one settings to advise on their individual academic research projects, which are presented as a formal talk to the Division and as a poster at the Psychiatry Department’s annual Research Day.
2018, 2019, 2023 Lecturer, Responsible Conduct of Research course
2018, 2023 Lecturer, UMB Spring Mini-Course in Addiction
2016 GPLS 775 “The Interface of Pain, Addiction and Affect” Course Lecturer
2011-2014 Research Mentor, NIDA post-baccalaureate IRTA Fellow
2011-2012 Course Instructor, Introduction to Addiction Science, Neuroimaging Research Branch, NIDA-IRP
2010-2012 Research Mentor for the NIDA Summer Student Programs
2009 Course Instructor, Law and Neuroscience (Psychology 594LN), University of California, Santa Barbara
2008 Course Instructor, COSMOS, COSMOS-University of California, Irvine
2001-2003 Course Instructor, Neurobiology lecture/lab course (BIO113L), University of California, Irvine
2000-2001 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Neurobiology (BIO110L), University of California, Irvine