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Mark Parrino, M.P.A.

Founder and President
American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
New York, NY

Mark Parrino, M.P.A., is founder and President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD). In this position, he serves as a national advocate for sound public policy and best practices in clinical care for addiction treatment involving medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and others that are vital to recovery. He directs interstate organizational, legislative and conference activities for methadone treatment providers across the U.S.

Parrino led the effort to develop the first published series of comprehensive treatment guidelines, the State Methadone Treatment Guidelines, in 1993. These guidelines became the template for new accreditation regulations, which were promulgated by the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The guidelines were published in French, Italian, and Spanish for use in 10 other nations. Parrino has also worked to build bridges between treatment providers who value the use of methadone and those who do not, and has promoted increased integration of the appropriate use of medications into programs that have traditionally been more behaviorally oriented. He has brought attention to the fact that the relative absence of treatment and recovery services in the prison system has fueled the cycle of violence and crime.

The AATOD has its roots in the Northeast Regional Methadone Treatment Coalition, created by Parrino in 1984. The coalition evolved into the American Methadone Treatment Association in 1990, later becoming the AATOD. Today, the AATOD works with 21 statewide chapters as well as with individual program members in 11 other states. These groups include more than 800 treatment programs, responsible for treating more than 180,000 patients on any given day. The AATOD has also worked closely with international colleagues in more than 10 nations in planning conference activities, both in the United States and abroad. These activities are expected to lead to a worldwide federation of treatment providers.

Parrino has served as liaison to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, has testified before U.S. Congressional Committees, and has worked closely with federal and state agencies. In 2000, he worked with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to develop the Narcotic Treatment Best Practice Guideline for Narcotic Treatment Programs. The guidelines were disseminated throughout the nation for use in every treatment program and state regulatory agency.

Parrino has also worked with the National Drug Court Institute, producing a fact sheet on methadone maintenance and other pharmacotherapeutic interventions in the treatment of opioid dependence, published in 2002. The fact sheet was the first comprehensive evaluation of replacement pharmacotherapies and was forwarded to drug court judges throughout the country.

Parrino has helped develop addiction treatment training programs for professional organizations, including courses to train physicians and other medical practitioners. One course, Opioid Maintenance Pharmacotherapy: a Course for Clinicians, was initiated in 1994 through the work of four leading American Society of Addiction Medicine physicians and continues with funding support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and other government and corporate funders.

Parrino received both a baccalaureate in Psychology and a masters in Health Policy, Planning and Administration from New York University.

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Copyright 2004 The Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, Maryland.
All rights reserved. Last Updated November 7, 2008

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