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Walter Ling, M.D.

Personal Email Address:
Work Email Address:

Mailing Address:
UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
1640 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Fax Number:
310 312-0552
Work Phone Number:
(800) 825-9989

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Department / Division Affiliations
Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Co-Director, Integrated Substance Abuse Program
Member, Brain Research Institute

Research Interest:


Dr. Walter Ling is a board-certified neurologist and psychiatrist, Professor in Residence of Psychiatry at UCLA, and Director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) at UCLA, one of the foremost substance abuse research groups in the world. Dr. Ling is the Principal Investigator of the Pacific Region Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse?s (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN), designed to bring cutting-edge findings from treatment research to practice in community-based treatment programs throughout the United States. Other collaborative work is conducted with the US Department of State, the UN Office of International Narcotics Affairs and the World Health Organization. Research. Dr. Ling is also Co-PI on the ISAP-hosted and administered Drug Abuse Research Training Center, a pre- and post-doctoral training program funded by NIH/NIDA through an Institutional Training Grant (T32). Research interests include investigations addressing the effectiveness of medications in the treatment of addiction, as well as the development of promising combinations of pharmacotherapeutic and psychosocial treatment strategies for reducing or eliminating use of opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine. To assist in these projects, Dr. Ling recently opened the ISAP Outpatient Clinical Research Center (OCRC) to conduct clinical research on-site. OCRC projects include: ? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a proprietary protocol for methamphetamine dependence. In this project, 120 individuals presenting for treatment at three Los Angeles area sites, are randomly assigned to placebo or active medication conditions. Participants are given a total of five daily medication infusions delivered for three days at the start of the study and again for two days at week three of the study, as well as 38 days of oral medication, and weekly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the duration of the 107 day study. The placebo group receives placebo medication delivered identically to the active group, and CBT. The main outcome is methamphetamine use over the duration of the study. ? A comparison study of four psychosocial treatment conditions randomly assigned to opioid-dependent participants receiving buprenorphine pharmacotherapy. A total of 240 participants are being inducted onto buprenorphine for two weeks before being randomized into CBT, Contingency Management (CM), CBT+CM, and Medical Management (MM) for a 16-week period, followed by a buprenorphine-only period of 16 weeks. Follow-up assessments occur at 40 and 52 weeks; the main outcome is opioid use. ? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled medication trial of long-acting buprenorphine subcutaneous implants. Participants are provided with weekly psychosocial treatment and undergo weekly assessments over the 7-month trial. ? A randomized, double-blind trial comparing two formulations of depot buprenorphine for the treatment of moderate pain. Participants are randomly assigned to medication, but all receive both formulations of buprenorphine and ultra-low-dose naloxone and buprenorphine alone. Dosing for each medication occurs for 5 days over a 1-2 week period, separated by a one-week interval. The ability of each medication to reduce pain, and the occurrence of side effects, will be compared across conditions. ? A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of bupropion for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence, conducted under the auspices of NIDA?s Medication Development for Stimulant (MDS) Dependence. Participants are randomly assigned to receive placebo or active study drug along with thrice-weekly CBT for 12 weeks. In addition to the research listed above, several CTN projects are conducted at community-based treatment programs across the country. On two of the three CTN projects, Dr. Ling serves as lead or co-lead investigator. These projects include: ? A study examining liver functioning in participants provided with methadone or buprenorphine pharmacotherapy. ? A study providing buprenorphine and two levels of psychosocial treatment for participants who are dependent on prescription opioids. ? A project investigating the effectiveness of 12-Step facilitation for reducing substance use.


Ling Walter, Casadonte Paul, Bigelow George, Kampman Kyle M, Patkar Ashwin, Bailey Genie L, Rosenthal Richard N, Beebe Katherine L Buprenorphine implants for treatment of opioid dependence: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. 2010; 304(14): 1576-83.
Compton Peggy, Kehoe Priscilla, Sinha Karabi, Torrington Matt A, Ling Walter Gabapentin improves cold-pressor pain responses in methadone-maintained patients. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2010; 109(1-3): 213-9.
Ling Walter Buprenorphine for opioid dependence. Expert review of neurotherapeutics. 2009; 9(5): 609-16.
Shoptaw Steven J, Kao Uyen, Heinzerling Keith, Ling Walter Treatment for amphetamine withdrawal. Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online). 2009; 9(2): CD003021.
Ling Walter, Hillhouse Maureen, Domier Catherine, Doraimani Geetha, Hunter Jeremy, Thomas Christie, Jenkins Jessica, Hasson Albert, Annon Jeffrey, Saxon Andrew, Selzer Jeffrey, Boverman Joshua, Bilangi Richard Buprenorphine tapering schedule and illicit opioid use. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2009; 104(2): 256-65.
Yu Elmer, Miotto Karen, Akerele Evaristo, Montgomery Ann, Elkashef Ahmed, Walsh Robert, Montoya Ivan, Fischman Marian W, Collins Joseph, McSherry Frances, Boardman Kathy, Davies David K, O'Brien Charles P, Ling Walter, Kleber Herbert, Herman Barbara H A Phase 3 placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-site trial of the alpha-2-adrenergic agonist, lofexidine, for opioid withdrawal. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2008; 97(1-2): 158-68.
Compton Peggy A, Ling Walter, Torrington Matt A Lack of effect of chronic dextromethorphan on experimental pain tolerance in methadone-maintained patients. Addiction biology. 2008; 13(3-4): 393-402.
Shoptaw Steven, Heinzerling Keith G, Rotheram-Fuller Erin, Steward Trevor, Wang Jason, Swanson Aimee-Noelle, De La Garza Richard, Newton Tom, Ling Walter Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of bupropion for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2008; 96(3): 222-32.
Humeniuk Rachel, Ali Robert, Babor Thomas F, Farrell Michael, Formigoni Maria L, Jittiwutikarn Jaroon, de Lacerda Roseli B, Ling Walter, Marsden John, Monteiro Maristela, Nhiwatiwa Sekai, Pal Hemraj, Poznyak Vladimir, Simon Sara Validation of the Alcohol, Smoking And Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST). Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2008; 103(6): 1039-47.
Yu Elmer, Miotto Karen, Akerele Evaristo, O'Brien Charles P, Ling Walter, Kleber Herbert, Fischman Marian W, Elkashef Ahmed, Herman Barbara H, Al-Ghananeem Abeer M Clinical pharmacokinetics of lofexidine, the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist, in opiate addicts plasma using a highly sensitive liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometric analysis. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse. 2008; 34(5): 611-6.
Astrup Arne, Greenway Frank L, Ling Walter, Pedicone Lisa, Lachowicz Jean, Strader Catherine D, Kwan Rudolf, Kwan Rudolf Randomized controlled trials of the D1/D5 antagonist ecopipam for weight loss in obese subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 2007; 15(7): 1717-31.
Rawson Richard A, Gonzales Rachel, McCann Michael, Ling Walter Use of methamphetamine by young people: is there reason for concern?. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2007; 102(7): 1021-2.
Compton Peggy, Ling Walter, Chiang C Nora, Moody David E, Huber Alice, Ling Debbie, Charuvastra Charles Pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine: a comparison of sublingual tablet versus liquid after chronic dosing. Journal of addiction medicine. 2007; 1(2): 88-95.
Torrington Matthew, Domier Catherine P, Hillhouse Maureen, Ling Walter Buprenorphine 101: treating opioid dependence with buprenorphine in an office-based setting. Journal of addictive diseases. 2007; 26(3): 93-9.
Elkashef Ahmed, Rawson Richard A, Smith Edwina, Pearce Valerie, Flammino Frank, Campbell Jan, Donovick Roger, Gorodetzky Charles, Haning William, Mawhinney Joseph, McCann Michael, Weis Dennis, Williams Lorie, Ling Walter, Vocci Frank The NIDA Methamphetamine Clinical Trials Group: a strategy to increase clinical trials research capacity. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2007; 102 Suppl 1(2): 107-13.
Heinzerling Keith G, Shoptaw Steven, Peck James A, Yang Xiaowei, Liu Juanmei, Roll John, Ling Walter Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of baclofen and gabapentin for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2006; 85(3): 177-84.
Shoptaw Steven, Huber Alice, Peck James, Yang Xiaowei, Liu Juanmei, Jeff Dang Juanmei, Roll John, Shapiro Benjamin, Rotheram-Fuller Erin, Ling Walter Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of sertraline and contingency management for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2006; 85(1): 12-8.
Venneman Sandy, Leuchter Andrew, Bartzokis George, Beckson Mace, Simon Sara L, Schaefer Melodie, Rawson Richard, Newton Tom, Cook Ian A, Uijtdehaage Sebastian, Ling Walter Variation in neurophysiological function and evidence of quantitative electroencephalogram discordance: predicting cocaine-dependent treatment attrition. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences. 2006; 18(2): 208-16.
Rawson Richard A, McCann Michael J, Flammino Frank, Shoptaw Steven, Miotto Karen, Reiber Chris, Ling Walter A comparison of contingency management and cognitive-behavioral approaches for stimulant-dependent individuals. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2006; 101(2): 267-74.
Athanasos Peter, Smith Charlotte S, White Jason M, Somogyi Andrew A, Bochner Felix, Ling Walter Methadone maintenance patients are cross-tolerant to the antinociceptive effects of very high plasma morphine concentrations. Pain. 2006; 120(3): 267-75.
London Edythe D, Berman Steven M, Voytek Bradley, Simon Sara L, Mandelkern Mark A, Monterosso John, Thompson Paul M, Brody Arthur L, Geaga Jennifer A, Hong Michael S, Hayashi Kiralee M, Rawson Richard A, Ling Walter Cerebral metabolic dysfunction and impaired vigilance in recently abstinent methamphetamine abusers. Biological psychiatry. 2005; 58(10): 770-8.
Vocci Frank, Ling Walter Medications development: successes and challenges. Pharmacology & therapeutics. 2005; 108(1): 94-108.
Newton Thomas F, Kalechstein Ari D, De La Garza Richard, Cutting Daniel J, Ling Walter Apathy predicts hedonic but not craving response to cocaine. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 2005; 82(1): 236-40.
Ling Walter, Amass Leslie, Shoptaw Steve, Annon Jeffrey J, Hillhouse Maureen, Babcock Dean, Brigham Greg, Harrer Judy, Reid Malcolm, Muir Joan, Buchan Betty, Orr Debbie, Woody George, Krejci Jonathan, Ziedonis Douglas, Ziedonis Douglas A multi-center randomized trial of buprenorphine-naloxone versus clonidine for opioid detoxification: findings from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2005; 100(8): 1090-100.
Voytek Bradley, Berman Steven M, Hassid B Daniel, Simon Sara L, Mandelkern Mark A, Brody Arthur L, Monterosso John, Ling Walter, London Edythe D Differences in regional brain metabolism associated with marijuana abuse in methamphetamine abusers. Synapse (New York, N.Y.). 2005; 57(2): 113-5.
Raisch Dennis W, Fudala Paul J, Saxon Andrew J, Walsh Robert, Casadonte Paul, Ling Walter, Johnson Bankole A, Malkerneker Usha, Ordorica Patricia, Williford William O, Sather Mike R Pharmacists' and technicians' perceptions and attitudes toward dispensing buprenorphine/ naloxone to patients with opioid dependence. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association : JAPhA. 2005; 45(1): 23-32.
Shoptaw Steven, Watson Donnie W, Reiber Chris, Rawson Richard A, Montgomery Margaret A, Majewska Maria D, Ling Walter Randomized controlled pilot trial of cabergoline, hydergine and levodopa/carbidopa: Los Angeles Cocaine Rapid Efficacy Screening Trial (CREST). Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2005; 100 Suppl 1(2): 78-90.
Humeniuk Rachel, Ali Robert, Ling Walter Substance use and treatment options in Cambodia. Drug and alcohol review. 2004; 23(3): 365-7.
Newton Thomas F, Kalechstein Ari D, Duran Sonia, Vansluis Nicolette, Ling Walter Methamphetamine abstinence syndrome: preliminary findings. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions. 2004; 13(3): 248-55.
Thompson Paul M, Hayashi Kiralee M, Simon Sara L, Geaga Jennifer A, Hong Michael S, Sui Yihong, Lee Jessica Y, Toga Arthur W, Ling Walter, London Edythe D Structural abnormalities in the brains of human subjects who use methamphetamine. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2004; 24(26): 6028-36.
Ling Walter, Cunningham-Rathner Jerry, Rawson Richard Diffusion of substance abuse treatment: will buprenorphine be a success?. Journal of psychoactive drugs. 2004; Suppl 2(2): 115-7.
Shoptaw Steve, Majewska Maria Dorota, Wilkins Jeffery, Twitchell Geoffrey, Yang Xiaowei, Ling Walter Participants receiving dehydroepiandrosterone during treatment for cocaine dependence show high rates of cocaine use in a placebo-controlled pilot study. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology. 2004; 12(2): 126-35.
Amass Leslie, Ling Walter, Freese Thomas E, Reiber Chris, Annon Jeffrey J, Cohen Allan J, McCarty Dennis, Reid Malcolm S, Brown Lawrence S, Clark Cynthia, Ziedonis Douglas M, Krejci Jonathan, Stine Susan, Winhusen Theresa, Brigham Greg, Babcock Dean, Muir Joan A, Buchan Betty J, Horton Terry Bringing buprenorphine-naloxone detoxification to community treatment providers: the NIDA Clinical Trials Network field experience. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions. 2004; 13 Suppl 1(3): S42-66.
Newton Thomas F, Kalechstein Ari D, Hardy David J, Cook Ian A, Nestor Liam, Ling Walter, Leuchter Andrew F Association between quantitative EEG and neurocognition in methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. 2004; 115(1): 194-8.
London Edythe D, Simon Sara L, Berman Steven M, Mandelkern Mark A, Lichtman Aaron M, Bramen Jennifer, Shinn Ann K, Miotto Karen, Learn Jennifer, Dong Yun, Matochik John A, Kurian Varughese, Newton Thomas, Woods Roger, Rawson Richard, Ling Walter Mood disturbances and regional cerebral metabolic abnormalities in recently abstinent methamphetamine abusers. Archives of general psychiatry. 2004; 61(1): 73-84.
Shoptaw Steven, Yang Xiaowei, Rotheram-Fuller Erin J, Hsieh Ya-Ching M, Kintaudi Prudencia C, Charuvastra V C, Ling Walter Randomized placebo-controlled trial of baclofen for cocaine dependence: preliminary effects for individuals with chronic patterns of cocaine use. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. 2003; 64(12): 1440-8.
Compton Peggy, Charuvastra V C, Ling Walter Effect of oral ketorolac and gender on human cold pressor pain tolerance. Clinical and experimental pharmacology & physiology. 2003; 30(10): 759-63.
Charles Bradley K, Day Jayme E, Rollins Douglas E, Andrenyak David, Ling Walter, Wilkins Diana G Opiate recidivism in a drug-treatment program: comparison of hair and urine data. Journal of analytical toxicology. 2003; 27(7): 412-28.
Fudala Paul J, Bridge T Peter, Herbert Susan, Williford William O, Chiang C Nora, Jones Karen, Collins Joseph, Raisch Dennis, Casadonte Paul, Goldsmith R Jeffrey, Ling Walter, Malkerneker Usha, McNicholas Laura, Renner John, Stine Susan, Tusel Donald, Tusel Donald Office-based treatment of opiate addiction with a sublingual-tablet formulation of buprenorphine and naloxone. The New England journal of medicine. 2003; 349(10): 949-58.
Newton Thomas F, Kalechstein Ari D, Tervo Kari E, Ling Walter Irritability following abstinence from cocaine predicts euphoric effects of cocaine administration. Addictive behaviors. 2003; 28(4): 817-21.
Ling Walter, Wesson Donald R Clinical efficacy of buprenorphine: comparisons to methadone and placebo. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2003; 70(2 Suppl): S49-57.
Lopatko Olga V, White Jason M, Huber Alice, Ling Walter Opioid effects and opioid withdrawal during a 24 h dosing interval in patients maintained on buprenorphine. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2003; 69(3): 317-22.
Wesson Donald R, Ling Walter The Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). Journal of psychoactive drugs. 2003; 35(2): 253-9.
Ling Walter, Rawson Richard A, Compton Margaret Clinical treatment of opioid addiction and dependence. Methods in molecular medicine. 2003; 84(3): 285-95.
Rawson Richard A, Marinelli-Casey Patricia, Ling Walter Dancing with strangers: will U.S. substance abuse practice and research organizations build mutually productive relationships?. Addictive behaviors. 2003; 27(6): 941-9.
Newton Thomas F, Cook Ian A, Kalechstein Ari D, Duran Sonia, Monroy Franz, Ling Walter, Leuchter Andrew F Quantitative EEG abnormalities in recently abstinent methamphetamine dependent individuals. Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. 2003; 114(3): 410-5.
Shoptaw Steve, Rotheram-Fuller Erin, Yang Xiaowei, Frosch Dominick, Nahom Debbie, Jarvik Murray E, Rawson Richard A, Ling Walter Smoking cessation in methadone maintenance. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2002; 97(10): 1317-28; discussion 1325.
Rawson Richard A, Huber Alice, McCann Michael, Shoptaw Steven, Farabee David, Reiber Chris, Ling Walter A comparison of contingency management and cognitive-behavioral approaches during methadone maintenance treatment for cocaine dependence. Archives of general psychiatry. 2002; 59(9): 817-24.
Ling Walter, Smith David Buprenorphine: blending practice and research. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2002; 23(2): 87-92.
Shoptaw Steve, Kintaudi P C, Charuvastra Charles, Ling Walter A screening trial of amantadine as a medication for cocaine dependence. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2002; 66(3): 217-24.
Sim Tiffanie, Simon Sara L, Domier Catherine P, Richardson Kimberly, Rawson Richard A, Ling Walter Cognitive deficits among methamphetamine users with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptomatology. Journal of addictive diseases. 2002; 21(1): 75-89.
Simon Sara L, Domier Catherine P, Sim Tiffanie, Richardson Kimberly, Rawson Richard A, Ling Walter Cognitive performance of current methamphetamine and cocaine abusers. Journal of addictive diseases. 2002; 21(1): 61-74.
Ling Walter Cynthia's Dilemma. The American journal of bioethics : AJOB. 2002; 2(2): 55-6.
Miotto Karen, McCann Michael, Basch Janice, Rawson Richard, Ling Walter Naltrexone and dysphoria: fact or myth?. The American journal on addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions. 2002; 11(2): 151-60.
Rawson Richard A, Anglin M Douglas, Ling Walter Will the methamphetamine problem go away?. Journal of addictive diseases. 2002; 21(1): 5-19.