Lab Web Site: The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (Ceasar)

Research Overview

John Knight's research is directed at developing an effective brief intervention for drug abuse that could be widely implemented in settings where adolescents receive routine healthcare.

The long-term goal of Dr. Knight and his colleagues at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) is to improve screening and intervention for adolescent substance abuse in medical office settings. Because use of drugs and alcohol is associated with a variety of health problems, settings where adolescents receive routine medical care are ideal for routine screening and early intervention. However, little research has been conducted on the efficacy of screening and intervention for drug use among adolescent primary care patients.

More immediately, the CeASAR team intends to:

  • Test the efficacy of a new intervention (Motivational Interviewing) in a Stage 1b trial within the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital.
  • Develop and test an intervention that can be applied to adolecents at all levels of substance abuse during the usual well care visit.
  • Conduct a survey of primary care providers on their usual practices related to laboratory testing of adolescents for drugs.

About the Researcher

John Knight received his MD degree from University of Vermont College of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency at Albany Medical Center Hospital and a postgraduate fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.

Dr. Knight has served as a consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Substance Abuse

Research Departments

Research Divisions

Researcher Centers


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Hadland SE, Knight JR, Harris SK. Alcohol Use Disorder: A Pediatric-Onset Condition Needing Early Detection and Intervention. Pediatrics. 2019 Mar; 143(3). View abstract
  2. Knight JR, Csemy L, Sherritt L, Starostova O, Van Hook S, Bacic J, Finlay C, Tauber J, Brooks T, Kossack R, Kulig JW, Shaw J, Harris SK. Screening and Brief Advice to Reduce Adolescents' Risk of Riding With Substance-Using Drivers. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2018 Jul; 79(4):611-616. View abstract
  3. Rial A, Kim-Harris S, Knight JR, Araujo M, Gómez P, Braña T, Varela J, Golpe S. Empirical validation of the CRAFFT Abuse Screening Test in a Spanish sample. Adicciones. 2018 Jan 15; 0(0):1105. View abstract
  4. Knight JR, Kuzubova K, Csemy L, Sherritt L, Copelas S, Harris SK. Computer-Facilitated Screening and Brief Advice to Reduce Adolescents' Heavy Episodic Drinking: A Study in Two Countries. J Adolesc Health. 2018 Jan; 62(1):118-120. View abstract
  5. O'Brien KHM, Knight JR, Harris SK. A Call for Social Responsibility and Suicide Risk Screening, Prevention, and Early Intervention Following the Release of the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 10 01; 177(10):1418-1419. View abstract
  6. Welsh JW, Knight JR, Hadland SE. Adolescent Frequent Heavy Drinking From 1991-2015. Pediatrics. 2017 06; 139(6). View abstract
  7. Welsh JW, Knight JR, Hou SS, Malowney M, Schram P, Sherritt L, Boyd JW. Association Between Substance Use Diagnoses and Psychiatric Disorders in an Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic-Based Population. J Adolesc Health. 2017 Jun; 60(6):648-652. View abstract
  8. Hadland SE, Knight JR, Harris SK. The Knowledge Gaps for Medical Marijuana in Pediatric Conditions. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Nov-Dec; 36(9):767-8. View abstract
  9. Hadland SE, Knight JR. Brief Interventions for Alcohol Use: Where, When, and How? Pediatrics. 2015 Oct; 136(4):e1002-4. View abstract
  10. Zaman T, Malowney M, Knight J, Boyd JW. Co-Occurrence of Substance-Related and Other Mental Health Disorders Among Adolescent Cannabis Users. J Addict Med. 2015 Jul-Aug; 9(4):317-21. View abstract
  11. Harris SK, Knight JR, Van Hook S, Sherritt L, Brooks TL, Kulig JW, Nordt CA, Saitz R. Adolescent substance use screening in primary care: Validity of computer self-administered versus clinician-administered screening. Subst Abus. 2016; 37(1):197-203. View abstract
  12. Hadland SE, Knight JR, Harris SK. Medical marijuana: review of the science and implications for developmental-behavioral pediatric practice. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2015 Feb-Mar; 36(2):115-23. View abstract
  13. Harris SK, Louis-Jacques J, Knight JR. Screening and brief intervention for alcohol and other abuse. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2014 Apr; 25(1):126-56. View abstract
  14. Pugatch M, Knight JR, McGuiness P, Sherritt L, Levy S. A group therapy program for opioid-dependent adolescents and their parents. Subst Abus. 2014; 35(4):435-41. View abstract
  15. Harris SK, Knight JR. Putting the Screen in Screening: Technology-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions in Medical Settings. Alcohol Res. 2014; 36(1):63-79. View abstract
  16. Louis-Jacques J, Knight JR, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Harris SK. Do risky friends change the efficacy of a primary care brief intervention for adolescent alcohol use? J Adolesc Health. 2014 Apr; 54(4):449-53. View abstract
  17. Boyd JW, Knight JR. Ethical and managerial considerations regarding state physician health programs. J Addict Med. 2012 Dec; 6(4):243-6. View abstract
  18. Harris SK, Csémy L, Sherritt L, Starostova O, Van Hook S, Johnson J, Boulter S, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig JW, Van Vranken N, Knight JR. Computer-facilitated substance use screening and brief advice for teens in primary care: an international trial. Pediatrics. 2012 Jun; 129(6):1072-82. View abstract
  19. Levy S, Knight JR, Moore T, Weinstein Z, Sherritt L, Weiss RD. Acceptability of drug testing in an outpatient substance abuse program for adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2011 Mar; 48(3):229-33. View abstract
  20. Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Wechsler H, Knight JR. Alcohol policy enforcement and changes in student drinking rates in a statewide public college system: a follow-up study. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2010 Aug 04; 5:18. View abstract
  21. Hassan A, Csemy L, Rappo MA, Knight JR. Adolescent substance abuse around the world: an international perspective. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2009 Dec; 20(3):915-29, ix. View abstract
  22. Hassan A, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J, Knight JR. Primary care follow-up plans for adolescents with substance use problems. Pediatrics. 2009 Jul; 124(1):144-50. View abstract
  23. Levy S, Sherritt L, Gabrielli J, Shrier LA, Knight JR. Screening adolescents for substance use-related high-risk sexual behaviors. J Adolesc Health. 2009 Nov; 45(5):473-7. View abstract
  24. Sanchez-Samper X, Knight JR. Drug abuse by adolescents: general considerations. Pediatr Rev. 2009 Mar; 30(3):83-92; quiz 93. View abstract
  25. Harris SK, Sherritt LR, Holder DW, Kulig J, Shrier LA, Knight JR. Reliability and validity of the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality among adolescents. J Relig Health. 2008 Dec; 47(4):438-57. View abstract
  26. Wilson CR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Lawrence N, Glotzer D, Shaw JS, Knight JR. Parental alcohol screening in pediatric practices. Pediatrics. 2008 Nov; 122(5):e1022-9. View abstract
  27. Levy S, Knight JR. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for adolescents. J Addict Med. 2008; 2(4):215-21. View abstract
  28. Levy S, Williams JF, Knight JR. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for adolescents: companion clinical case. J Addict Med. 2008; 2(4):222-6. View abstract
  29. Mears CJ, Knight JR. The role of schools in combating illicit substance abuse. Pediatrics. 2007 Dec; 120(6):1379-84. View abstract
  30. Rojas NL, Sherrit L, Harris S, Knight JR. The role of parental consent in adolescent substance use research. J Adolesc Health. 2008 Feb; 42(2):192-7. View abstract
  31. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Lawrence N, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J. Prevalence of positive substance abuse screen results among adolescent primary care patients. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007 Nov; 161(11):1035-41. View abstract
  32. Knight JR, Levy S. The national debate on drug testing in schools. J Adolesc Health. 2007 Nov; 41(5):419-20. View abstract
  33. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Holder DW, Kulig J, Shrier LA, Gabrielli J, Chang G. Alcohol use and religiousness/spirituality among adolescents. South Med J. 2007 Apr; 100(4):349-55. View abstract
  34. Levy S, Sherritt L, Vaughan BL, Germak M, Knight JR. Results of random drug testing in an adolescent substance abuse program. Pediatrics. 2007 Apr; 119(4):e843-8. View abstract
  35. Knight JR, Hugenberger GP. On forgiveness. South Med J. 2007 Apr; 100(4):420-1. View abstract
  36. Levy S, Vaughan BL, Angulo M, Knight JR. Buprenorphine replacement therapy for adolescents with opioid dependence: early experience from a children's hospital-based outpatient treatment program. J Adolesc Health. 2007 May; 40(5):477-82. View abstract
  37. Knight JR, Mears CJ. Testing for drugs of abuse in children and adolescents: addendum--testing in schools and at home. Pediatrics. 2007 Mar; 119(3):627-30. View abstract
  38. Van Hook S, Harris SK, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J, Knight JR. The "Six T's": barriers to screening teens for substance abuse in primary care. J Adolesc Health. 2007 May; 40(5):456-61. View abstract
  39. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Lawrence N, Brooks T, Carey P, Kossack R, Kulig J. Adolescents' preference for substance abuse screening in primary care practice. Subst Abus. 2007; 28(4):107-17. View abstract
  40. Knight JR, Sanchez LT, Sherritt L, Bresnahan LR, Fromson JA. Outcomes of a monitoring program for physicians with mental and behavioral health problems. J Psychiatr Pract. 2007 Jan; 13(1):25-32. View abstract
  41. Hertz JA, Knight JR. Prescription drug misuse: a growing national problem. Adolesc Med Clin. 2006 Oct; 17(3):751-69; abstract xiii. View abstract
  42. Levy S, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Angulo M, Knight JR. Drug testing of adolescents in general medical clinics, in school and at home: physician attitudes and practices. J Adolesc Health. 2006 Apr; 38(4):336-42. View abstract
  43. Levy S, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Angulo M, Knight JR. Drug testing of adolescents in ambulatory medicine: physician practices and knowledge. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Feb; 160(2):146-50. View abstract
  44. Burke PJ, Da Silva JD, Vaughan BL, Knight JR. Training high school counselors on the use of motivational interviewing to screen for substance abuse. Subst Abus. 2005 Dec; 26(3-4):31-4. View abstract
  45. Wilson CR, Sherritt L, Knight JR. Teaching Residents about Child Neglect and Parental Alcoholism: A Controlled Pilot Study. Med Educ Online. 2005 Dec; 10(1):4381. View abstract
  46. Bridgemohan CF, Levy S, Veluz AK, Knight JR. Teaching paediatric residents about learning disorders: use of standardised case discussion versus multimedia computer tutorial. Med Educ. 2005 Aug; 39(8):797-806. View abstract
  47. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Van Hook S, Gates EC, Levy S, Chang G. Motivational interviewing for adolescent substance use: a pilot study. J Adolesc Health. 2005 Aug; 37(2):167-9. View abstract
  48. Chang G, Sherritt L, Knight JR. Adolescent cigarette smoking and mental health symptoms. J Adolesc Health. 2005 Jun; 36(6):517-22. View abstract
  49. Wolraich ML, Wibbelsman CJ, Brown TE, Evans SW, Gotlieb EM, Knight JR, Ross EC, Shubiner HH, Wender EH, Wilens T. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adolescents: a review of the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical implications. Pediatrics. 2005 Jun; 115(6):1734-46. View abstract
  50. McCabe SE, Teter CJ, Boyd CJ, Knight JR, Wechsler H. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids among U.S. college students: prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addict Behav. 2005 May; 30(4):789-805. View abstract
  51. McCabe SE, Knight JR, Teter CJ, Wechsler H. Non-medical use of prescription stimulants among US college students: prevalence and correlates from a national survey. Addiction. 2005 Jan; 100(1):96-106. View abstract
  52. Wilson CR, Sherritt L, Gates E, Knight JR. Are clinical impressions of adolescent substance use accurate? Pediatrics. 2004 Nov; 114(5):e536-40. View abstract
  53. Knight JR. A 35-year-old physician with opioid dependence. JAMA. 2004 Sep 15; 292(11):1351-7. View abstract
  54. Roth EJ, Barreto P, Sherritt L, Palfrey JS, Risko W, Knight JR. A new, experiential curriculum in child advocacy for pediatric residents. Ambul Pediatr. 2004 Sep-Oct; 4(5):418-23. View abstract
  55. Levy S, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Gates EC, Holder DW, Kulig JW, Knight JR. Test-retest reliability of adolescents' self-report of substance use. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 Aug; 28(8):1236-41. View abstract
  56. Levy S, Van Hook S, Knight J. A review of Internet-based home drug-testing products for parents. Pediatrics. 2004 Apr; 113(4):720-6. View abstract
  57. Knight JR, Harris SK, Sherritt L, Kelley K, Van Hook S, Wechsler H. Heavy drinking and alcohol policy enforcement in a statewide public college system. J Stud Alcohol. 2003 Sep; 64(5):696-703. View abstract
  58. Shrier LA, Harris SK, Kurland M, Knight JR. Substance use problems and associated psychiatric symptoms among adolescents in primary care. Pediatrics. 2003 Jun; 111(6 Pt 1):e699-705. View abstract
  59. Brooks TL, Woods ER, Knight JR, Shrier LA. Body modification and substance use in adolescents: is there a link? J Adolesc Health. 2003 Jan; 32(1):44-9. View abstract
  60. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Harris SK, Gates EC, Chang G. Validity of brief alcohol screening tests among adolescents: a comparison of the AUDIT, POSIT, CAGE, and CRAFFT. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2003 Jan; 27(1):67-73. View abstract
  61. Knight JR, Sherritt L, Shrier LA, Harris SK, Chang G. Validity of the CRAFFT substance abuse screening test among adolescent clinic patients. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Jun; 156(6):607-14. View abstract
  62. Rigotti NA, Regan S, Majchrzak NE, Knight JR, Wechsler H. Tobacco use by Massachusetts public college students: long term effect of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. Tob Control. 2002 Jun; 11 Suppl 2:ii20-4. View abstract
  63. Knight JR, Wechsler H, Kuo M, Seibring M, Weitzman ER, Schuckit MA. Alcohol abuse and dependence among U.S. college students. J Stud Alcohol. 2002 May; 63(3):263-70. View abstract
  64. Levy S, Vaughan BL, Knight JR. Office-based intervention for adolescent substance abuse. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2002 Apr; 49(2):329-43. View abstract
  65. Knight JR, Sanchez LT, Sherritt L, Bresnahan LR, Silveria JM, Fromson JA. Monitoring physician drug problems: attitudes of participants. J Addict Dis. 2002; 21(4):27-36. View abstract
  66. Knight JR, Goodman E, Pulerwitz T, DuRant RH. Reliability of the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) in adolescent medical practice. J Adolesc Health. 2001 Aug; 29(2):125-30. View abstract
  67. Knight JR. The role of the primary care provider in preventing and treating alcohol problems in adolescents. Ambul Pediatr. 2001 May-Jun; 1(3):150-61. View abstract
  68. Knight JR, Frazer CH, Goodman E, Blaschke GS, Bravender TD, Emans SJ. Development of a Bright Futures curriculum for pediatric residents. Ambul Pediatr. 2001 May-Jun; 1(3):136-40. View abstract
  69. Knight JR, Palacios J, Shannon M. Unanticipated reactions to a recent report on alcohol problems among pediatric residents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000 Jun; 154(6):635. View abstract
  70. Knight JR, Goodman E, Pulerwitz T, DuRant RH. Reliabilities of short substance abuse screening tests among adolescent medical patients. Pediatrics. 2000 Apr; 105(4 Pt 2):948-53. View abstract
  71. Bravender T, Goodman E, Knight J, Frazer C, Luoni M, Blaschke G, Emans SJ. Case-based teaching in adolescent medicine. J Adolesc Health. 2000 Apr; 26(4):241-2. View abstract
  72. Frazer C, Emans SJ, Goodman E, Luoni M, Bravender T, Knight J. Teaching residents about development and behavior: meeting the new challenge. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Nov; 153(11):1190-4. View abstract
  73. Knight JR, Palacios JN, Shannon M. Prevalence of alcohol problems among pediatric residents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Nov; 153(11):1181-3. View abstract
  74. Knight JR, Shrier LA, Bravender TD, Farrell M, Vander Bilt J, Shaffer HJ. A new brief screen for adolescent substance abuse. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Jun; 153(6):591-6. View abstract
  75. Emans SJ, Bravender T, Knight J, Frazer C, Luoni M, Berkowitz C, Armstrong E, Goodman E. Adolescent medicine training in pediatric residency programs: are we doing a good job? Pediatrics. 1998 Sep; 102(3 Pt 1):588-95. View abstract
  76. Bravender T, Knight JR. Recent patterns of use and associated risks of illicit drug use in adolescents. Curr Opin Pediatr. 1998 Aug; 10(4):344-9. View abstract
  77. Durant RH, Knight J, Goodman E. Factors associated with aggressive and delinquent behaviors among patients attending an adolescent medicine clinic. J Adolesc Health. 1997 Nov; 21(5):303-8. View abstract
  78. Goodman E, Knight JR, DuRant RH. Use of the Life Optimism Test among adolescents in a clinical setting: a report of reliability testing. J Adolesc Health. 1997 Oct; 21(4):218-20. View abstract
  79. Vaughn BL, Knight JR. Self-induced vomiting as a presentation of abdominal mass. Pediatrics. 1997 May; 99(5):731-3. View abstract