Rachel Adams

Senior Scientist

Rachel  Adams's photo


Email: radams@brandeis.edu
Office: Heller-Brown Building 247
Phone: 64839
Brandeis Directory


health services research, alcohol, opioids, addiction, traumatic brain injury, disability, psychological health, utilization and diagnoses associated with military health care, public health, co-occurring conditions, and health policy


  • Brandeis University
  • Brandeis University
  • Boston University
  • Skidmore College

Rachel Adams

Senior Scientist


Dr. Adams is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. She is a health services researcher with expertise examining co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions following traumatic brain injury. Dr. Adams is a Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI) on a R01 from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Office of the Director at NIH which is integrating data from the Department of Defense and Veterans Health Administration to enhance suicide prevention efforts for military members returning from deployments. She is the Co-PI of the INROADS study, Intersecting Research on Opioid Misuse, Addiction, and Disability Services, which is examining the intersection between addiction, disability, and service provision in an effort to address the rise of opioid use disorders among people with disabilities, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. In collaboration with researchers from the Uniformed Services University, Dr. Adams is the Brandeis PI on a study to examine outcomes associated with postdeployment unhealthy alcohol use. She is a MPI of the Substance Use and Psychological Injury Combat Study - Pain Management (SUPIC), a longitudinal study examining the role of using non-pharmacological treatments for pain management as a complement or substitute for opioids, funded by the Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH. Dr. Adams has completed studies on the health effects of deployment for military spouses and children, and the impact of early behavioral health treatment in reducing long term substance use and psychological health problems post-deployment. She was the recipient of a pre-doctoral training grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Adams has an appointment as a health services researcher with the Veterans Health Administration Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center in Aurora, Colorado.

Awards and Honors

  • Early Career Research Investigator Award, Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Brandeis University (2019)
  • Best Poster Award, Military & Veteran Affair Networking Group, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (2017)
  • Editorial Board - Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (2016)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism New Investigator Travel Award, Addiction Health Services Research Conference (2012)
  • Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, Family Life and Child Health Best Poster Award, Mohr, B., Larson, M. J., Adams, R.S., Perloff, J., Keane, M., and Williams, T. (2010)
  • Allen R. Meyers Memorial Prize for Excellence in Health Services Research, Boston University (2008)
  • Delta Omega Honors Society in Public Health, Boston University (2008)
  • Merit Scholarship from Boston University’s School of Public Health (2005)
  • National Science Foundation Scholarship to attend the Evaluator’s Institute (2003)
  • Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honor Society (2001)
  • Stonequist Award for Academic Excellence in Sociology, Skidmore College (2001)
  • Summa cum laude, Skidmore College (2001)
  • Undergraduate Paper Award, Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (2001)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (2000)


  • Adams, RS, Hoover, P, Forster, JE, Caban, J, and Brenner, LA. "Traumatic brain injury classification variability during the Afghanistan/Iraq conflicts: Surveillance, clinical, research, and policy implications." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation (2022). (forthcoming)
  • Ledingham, E, Adams, RS, Heaphy, D, Duarte, A, and Reif, S. "Perspectives of adults with disabilities and opioid misuse: Qualitative findings illuminating experiences with stigma and substance use treatment." Disability and Health Journal (2022). (forthcoming)
  • Meerwijk, EL, Adams, RS, Larson, MJ, Highland, KB, Harris, AHS. "Dose of Exercise Therapy Among Active-Duty Soldiers with Chronic Pain is Associated with Lower Risk of Long-Term Adverse Outcomes After Linking to the Veterans Health Administration." Military Medicine (2022). (forthcoming)
  • Adams, RS, Brostow, DP, and Brenner, LA. "Traumatic Brain Injury." Veteran and Military Mental Health: The Psychiatrist’s Role. American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2021 (forthcoming)
  • Akobirshoev, I, McKee, MM, Reif, S, Adams, RS, Li, FS, Mitra, M. "Opioid Use Disorder-Related Emergency Department Visits Among Deaf or Hard of Hearing Adults in the United States." Disability and Health Journal (2021). (forthcoming)
  • Hodgkin, D, Adams, RS, Ritter, G, Lee, S, Highland, KB, and Larson, MJ. "Do Nonpharmacological Services Offset Opioids in Pain Treatment for Soldiers?." Health Services Research (2021). (forthcoming)
  • Reif, S, Karriker-Jaffe, KJ, Valentine, A, Patterson, D, Mericle, AA, Adams, RS, and Greenfield, TK. "Substance use patterns and disability status in a US national sample: a mediating role for chronic pain." Disability and Health Journal (2021). (forthcoming)
  • Reif, S, Lauer, EA, Adams, RS, Brucker, DL, Ritter, GA, and Mitra, M. "Examining Differences in Prescription Opioid Use Behaviors among U.S. Adults With and Without Disabilities." Preventive Medicine (2021). (forthcoming)
  • Adams, RS, Ledingham, E, and Keyes, KM. "Have we overlooked the influence of “Wine-Mom” culture on alcohol consumption among mothers?." Addictive Behaviors 124. (2022): 107119.
  • Adams, RS, Corrigan, JD, Ritter, GA, Hagemeyer, A, Pliskin, MB, and Reif, S. "Association of Lifetime History of Traumatic Brain Injury with Prescription Opioid Use and Misuse among Adults." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 36. 5 (2021): 328-337.
  • Adams, RS, Jiang, T, Rosellini, AJ, Horváth-Puhó, E, Street, AE, Keyes, KM, Cerdá, M, Lash, TL, Sørensen, HT, Gradus, JL. "Sex-Specific Risk Profiles for Suicide Among Persons with Substance Use Disorders in Denmark." Addiction 116. 10 (2021): 2882-2892.
  • Adams, RS, Ketchum, JM, Nakase-Richardson, R, Katz, DI, and Corrigan, JD. "Prevalence of Drinking within Low-Risk Guidelines during the First Two Years Following Inpatient Rehabilitation for Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury." American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 100. 8 (2021): 815-819.
  • Adams, RS, Meerwijk, EL, Larson, MJ, and Harris, AHS. "Predictors of Veterans Health Administration Utilization and Pain Persistence among Soldiers treated for Postdeployment Chronic Pain in the Military Health System." BMC Health Services Research 21. 1 (2021): 1-14.
  • Corrigan, JD, Adams, RS, and Dams-O’Connor, K. "At-Risk Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders." Brain Injury Medicine: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition. 3rd ed. Ed. Zasler ND, Katz DI, Zafonte RD. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC, 2021. 1241-1251.
  • Gray, JC, Larson, MJ, Moresco, N, Ritter, GA, Dufour, S, Milliken, CS, and Adams, RS. "The Association of Engagement in Substance Use Treatment with Negative Separation from the Military among Soldiers with Post-deployment Alcohol Use Disorder." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 221. (2021): 108647.
  • Kumar, RG, Ornstein, KA, Corrigan, JD, Adams, RS, and Dams-O’Connor, K. "Association Between Lifetime History of Traumatic Brain Injury, Prescription Opioid Use and Persistent Pain: A Nationally Representative Study." Journal of Neurotrauma 15. 38 (2021): 2284-2290.
  • Saadoun, M, Bauer, M, Adams, RS, Highland, K, and Larson, MJ. "Opioid and Nonpharmacologic Treatments Among Soldiers With Chronic Pain and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." Psychiatric Services 72. 3 (2021): 264-272.
  • Starosta, AJ, Adams, RS, Marwitz, J, Kreutzer, J, Monden, KR, Dams-O’Connor, K, and Hoffman, J. "Scoping Review of Opioid Use after Traumatic Brain Injury." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 36. 5 (2021): 310-327.
  • Adams, RS, Campbell-Sills, L, Stein, MB, Sun, X, Larson, MJ, Kessler, RC, Ursano, RJ, Jain, S, and Corrigan, JD. "The Association of Lifetime and Deployment-Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury with Post-deployment Binge and Heavy Drinking." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 35. 1 (2020): 27-36.
  • Adams, RS, Corrigan, JD, and Dams-O’Connor, K. "Opioid Use among Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Perfect Storm?." Journal of Neurotrauma 37. (2020): 211-216.
  • Adams, RS, Garnick, DW, Harris, AHS, Merrick, EL, Hofmann, K, Funk, W, Williams, TV, and Larson MJ. "Assessing the Postdeployment Quality of Treatment for Substance Use Disorders among Army Soldiers in the Military Health System." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 114. (2020): 108026.
  • Brenner, LA, Otis, J, Grassmeyer, RP, Adams, RS, Laker, SR, & Filley, CM. "Assessment and Management of Psychiatric Symptoms among Adults with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury." Concussion: Assessment, Management and Rehabilitation. Ed. Blessen C. Eapen & David X. Cifu. Elsevier, Inc., 2020. 47-58.
  • Dufour, SC, Adams, RS, Brody, DL, Puente, AN, and Gray, JC. "Prevalence and Correlates of Concussion in Children: Data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study." Cortex 131. (2020): 237-250.
  • Meerwijk, EL, Larson, MJ, Schmidt, EM, Adams, RS, Bauer, MR, Ritter, GA, Buckenmaier III, C, Harris, AHS. "Nonpharmacological Treatment of Army Service Members with Chronic Pain is Associated with Fewer Adverse Outcomes after Transition to the Veterans Health Administration." Journal of General Internal Medicine 35. (2020): 775-783.
  • Reif, S, Adams, RS, Ritter, GA, and Larson, MJ. "Exploration of the Association of Selected Pain Diagnoses with Risky Alcohol Use among Active Duty Soldiers." Substance Abuse 41. 4 (2020): 456-462.
  • Adams, R.S., Larson, M.J., Meerwijk, E.L., Williams, T.V., and Harris, A.H.S.. "Post-deployment Polytrauma Diagnoses among Soldiers and Veterans using the Veterans Health Affairs Polytrauma System of Care and Receipt of Opioids, Nonpharmacologic, and Mental Health Treatments." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 34. 3 (2019): 167-175.
  • Adams, RS, Dietrich, EJ, Gray, J, Milliken, CS, Moresco, N, and Larson, MJ. "Post-Deployment Screening in the Military Health System: An Opportunity to Intervene for Possible Alcohol Use Disorder." Health Affairs 38. 8 (2019): 1298-1306.
  • Adams, RS, Thomas, CP, Ritter, GA, Lee, S, Saadoun, M, Williams, TV, and Larson, MJ. "Predictors of postdeployment prescription opioid receipt and long-term prescription opioid utilization among Army active duty soldiers." Military Medicine 184. 1-2 (2019): e101-e109.
  • Betthauser, LM, Adams, RS, Hostetter, T, Scher, AI, Schwab, K, and Brenner, LA. "Characterization of Lifetime TBIs in a Cohort of Recently Deployed Soldiers: The Warrior Strong Study." Rehabilitation Psychology E-publication ahead of print. (2019).
  • Corrigan, J.D. and Adams, R.S.. "The Intersection of Lifetime History of Traumatic Brain Injury and the Opioid Epidemic." Addictive Behaviors 90. (2019): 143-145.
  • Hostetter, T, Hoffmire, C, Forster, J, Adams, RS, Stearns-Yoder, K, and Brenner, LA.. "Suicide and Traumatic Brain Injury among Individuals Seeking Veterans Health Administration Services between Fiscal Years 2006 to 2015." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 34. 5 (2019): E1-E9.
  • Snow, JC, Tang, X, Nakase-Richardson, R, Adams, RS, Wortman, KM, Dillahunt-Aspillaga, C, and Miles, SR. "The relationship between PTSD symptoms and social participation in veterans with TBI: A VA TBIMS study." Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling 50. 1 (2019): 41-56.
  • Larson, M.J., Adams, R.S., Ritter, G.A, Linton, A., Saadoun, M., and Bauer, M.R.. "Associations of early treatments for low back pain with military readiness outcomes." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 24. 7 (2018): 666-676.
  • Larson, M.J., Browne, C., Nikitin, R.V., Wooten, N.R., Ball, S., Adams, R.S., and Barth, K.. "Physicians Report Adopting Safer Opioid Prescribing Behaviors After Academic Detailing Intervention." Substance Abuse 39. 2 (2018): 218-224.
  • Reif, S., Adams, R.S., Ritter, G.A., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Prevalence of Pain Diagnoses and Burden of Pain among Active Duty Soldiers, FY2012." Military Medicine 183. 9-10 (2018): e330-e337.
  • Vanneman, ME, Larson, MJ, Chen, C, Adams, RS, Williams, TV, Meerwijk, E, and Harris, AHS. "Treatment of low back pain with opioids and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities for Army veterans." Medical Care 56. 855-861 (2018).
  • Warfield, ME, Adams, RS, Ritter, GA, Valentine, A; Williams, TV, Larson, MJ. "Health care utilization among children with chronic conditions in military families." Disability and Health Journal 11. 4 (2018): 631.
  • Barth, K.S., Ball, S., Adams, R.S., Nikitin, R., Wooten, N.R., Qureshi, Z.P., Larson, M.J.. "Development and feasibility of an academic detailing intervention to improve prescription monitoring program use among physicians serving military members and veterans." Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 37. 2 (2017): 98-105.
  • Nakase-Richardson, R., Stevens, L.F., Tang, X., Lamberty, G., Sherer, M., Walker, W.C., Pugh, M.J., Eapen, B., Finn, J.A, Saylors, M., Dillahunt-Aspillaga, C., Adams, R.S., and Garafano, J.S.. "Comparison of the VA and NIDILRR TBI Model System Cohorts." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 32. 4 (2017): 221-233.
  • Vanneman M.E., Harris A.H.S., Chen. C., Adams R.S., Williams T.V., and Larson M.J.. "Postdeployment behavioral health screens and linkage to the Veterans Health Administration for Army Reserve Components." Psychiatric Services 68. 8 (2017): 803-809.
  • Adams, R.S., Corrigan, J.D., Mohr, B.A., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Deployment Binge Drinking among Male and Female Army Active Duty Service Members Returning from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom." Journal of Neurotrauma (2016): E-publication.
  • Adams, R.S., Larson, M.J., Corrigan, J.D., Ritter, G.A., Horgan, C.M., Bray, R.M., and Williams, T.V.. "Combat-acquired Traumatic Brain Injury, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and their Relative Associations with Postdeployment Binge Drinking." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 31. 1 (2016): 13-22.
  • Adams, R.S., Nikitin, R.V., Wooten, N.R., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "The Association of Combat Exposure with Postdeployment Behavioral Health Problems Among U.S. Army Enlisted Women Returning From Afghanistan or Iraq." Journal of Traumatic Stress 29. 4 (2016): 356-364.
  • Larson, M.J., Mohr, Beth A., Jeffery, D.D., Adams, R.S., Williams, T.V.. "Predictors of Positive Illicit Drug Tests after OEF/OIF Deployment among Army Enlisted Service Members." Military Medicine 181. 4 (2016): 334-342.
  • Wooten, N.R., Adams, R.S., Mohr, B.A., Jeffery, D.D., Funk, W., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Pre-deployment Year Mental Health Diagnoses and Treatment in Deployed Army Women." Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 44. 4 (2016): 582-594.
  • Vanneman, M.E., Harris, A.H.S., Chen, C., Mohr, B.A., Adams, R.S., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Army Active Duty Members’ Linkage to Veterans Health Administration Services after Deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan and Following Separation." Military Medicine 180. 10 (2015): 1052-1058.
  • Harris, A., Chen, C., Mohr, B.A., Adams, R.S., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Predictors of Army National Guard and Reserve Members Use of Veteran Health Administration Health Care After Demobilizing from OEF/OIF Deployment." Military Medicine 179. 10 (2014): 1090-1098.
  • Larson, M.J., Mohr, B.A., Adams, R.S., Wooten, N.R., and Williams, T.V.. "Missed Opportunity for Alcohol Problem Prevention among Active Duty Service Members Postdeployment." American Journal of Public Health 104. 8 (2014): 1402-1412.
  • Adams, R.S., Larson, M.J., Corrigan, J.D., Ritter, G., and Williams, T.V.. "Traumatic Brain Injury among US Active Duty Military Personnel and Drinking-Related Negative Consequences." Substance Use & Misuse 48. (2013): 821-836.
  • Corrigan, J.D., Adams, R.S., and Larson, M.J.. "When Addiction Co-occurs with Traumatic Brain Injury." The American Journal of Psychiatry 170. 4 (2013): 350-354.
  • Larson, M. J., Ritter, G. A., Adams, R. S.. "Suicides Among Military Personnel." The Journal of the American Medical Association 310. 23 (2013): 2565.
  • Larson, M.J., Adams, R.S., Mohr, B.A., Harris, A., Merrick, E., Funk, W., Hoffman, K., Wooten, N.R., Jeffery, D.D., and Williams, T.V.. "Rationale and methods of the substance use and psychological injury combat study (SUPIC): A longitudinal study of Army service members returning from deployment in FY2008-2011." Substance Use & Misuse 48. (2013): 863-879.
  • Wooten, N.R., Mohr, B.A., Lundgren, L.M., Adams, R.S., Merrick, E.L., Williams, T.V., and Larson, M.J.. "Gender Differences in Substance Use Treatment Utilization the Year Prior to Deployment in Army Service Members." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 45. (2013): 257-265.
  • Adams, R.S., Corrigan, J.D., and Larson, M.J.. "Alcohol Use after Combat-Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury: What We Know and Don’t Know." Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 12. 1 (2012): 28-51.
  • Adams, R.S., Larson, M.J., Corrigan, J.D., Horgan, C.M, and Williams, T.V.. "Frequent Binge Drinking After Combat-Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury Among Active Duty Military Personnel With a Past Year Combat Deployment." Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 27. 5 (2012): 349-360.
  • Larson, M.J, Mohr, B.A., Adams, R.S., Ritter, G., Perloff, J., Williams, T.V., Jeffery, D.D., and Tompkins, C.. "Association of Military Deployment of a Parent or Spouse and Changes in Dependent Use of Health Care Services." Medical Care 50. (2012): 821-828.
  • Larson, M.J., Wooten, N.R., Adams, R.S., and Merrick, E. "Military Combat Deployments and Substance Use: Review and Future Directions." Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 12. 1 (2012): 6-27.