Much of the impetus for alcohol and substance abuse research training derives from the establishment of the Oklahoma Center for Alcohol and Drug-Related Studies in 1968 by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, under the leadership of Dr. L.J. West. The Center was funded initially by an NIMH Alcohol Research Center Grant in 1967 and was recognized as a Center of Excellence by the University of Oklahoma in 1972. The Center's scientific staff underwent changes due to the untimely deaths of Drs. Arthur Zeiner, Harold Williams, and Oscar Parsons. Dr. Larry Gonzalez joined our faculty in 1986 and Drs. William Beatty and Sara Jo Nixon joined in 1990.

In addition to monthly research conferences and the Visiting Professor Program, in the past the Center has sponsored national conferences and workshops, including "The Psychopharmacology of Caffeine as a Drug of Abuse" and "Research Related to Strategies for Intervention in the Addictive Process." The Center also sponsored a two-day sympsium in April, 2003 on "Prevention of Risky and College Binge Drinking," featuring Dr. Mark Goldman, Co-Chair, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism College Drinking Task Force.

The Oscar A. Parsons Summer Institute on Substance Related Disorders, sponsored by the Center in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, was an annual event held from 2000-2003.