Sharon Reif


Sharon  Reif's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 259
Phone: 781-736-3924
Brandeis Directory


Health services research; substance use disorders; opioid use disorders; access to and quality of care; outcomes and recovery; addiction treatment systems and providers; state substance use systems; survey and interview design and analysis; quantitative data analysis; use of claims and administrative data


  • HS 414f - Ethical Issues in Social Science Research
  • HS 605c - Behavioral Health Doctoral Seminar
  • HSSP 115b - Perspectives on Behavioral Health: Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Health


  • Brandeis University
  • Brandeis University
  • Grinnell College

Sharon Reif



Sharon Reif, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Deputy Director of its Institute for Behavioral Health, and Deputy Director of its National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) doctoral training program. Dr. Reif has over 25 years of experience conducting health services research related to the substance use treatment system and recovery supports, with a focus on access, quality and delivery of services, as well as outcomes and recovery. Dr. Reif has been PI or co-investigator on numerous health services research studies, including medications for treating addiction; systems approaches to improve treatment for opioid use disorders and other substance use disorders; access to behavioral health services; the role of incentives in driving quality; the impact of health reform and parity on behavioral health service delivery; and the intersection of substance use disorders with other disabilities. Her research interests extend to wellness and to the intersection of chronic medical problems, including pain, with alcohol and drug use and misuse; stigma; and recovery from addiction. Dr. Reif is the Deputy Director of the Brandeis/Harvard NIDA Center to Improve System Performance of Substance Use Disorder Treatment. She teaches courses on research ethics for doctoral students and behavioral health for undergraduates. Dr. Reif has a Ph.D. in social policy from the Heller School, where she was also the recipient of a training grant in alcohol health services research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. She received the Heller School Mentoring Award in 2017.

Awards and Honors

  • Heller School Mentoring Award (2017)
  • NIAAA Doctoral Training Grant (1996 - 1999)


  • Reif S, Stewart MT, Dana BM, Torres ME, Davis MT, Ritter GA. "Effectiveness of value-based purchasing for substance use treatment engagement and retention." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 122. (2021): 108217.
  • Busch AB, Greenfield SF, Reif S, Normand SLT, Huskamp H. "Outpatient care for opioid use disorder among the commercially insured: use of medication and psychosocial treatment." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 115. (2020): 108040.
  • Davis MT; Torres ME; Nguyen A; Stewart MT; Reif, Sharon. "Improving quality and performance in substance use treatment programs: What is being done and why is it so hard?." Journal of Social Work (2020).
  • Hodgkin D, Garnick DW, Horgan CM, Busch AB, Stewart MT, Reif, S. "Is it feasible to pay substance use treatment providers based on patient outcomes?." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 206. (2020): 107735.
  • Huskamp H, Reif S, Normand SL, Greenfield SF, Busch AB. "Use of alcohol use disorder medications in a commercially-insured population." Journal of General Internal Medicine 35. (2020): 3262–3270.
  • Reif, Sharon; Adams R.S.; Ritter, G.A.; Larson, M.J.. "Exploration of the association of selected pain diagnoses with risky alcohol use among active duty soldiers." Substance Abuse 41. 4 (2020): 456-462.
  • Reif, Sharon; Brolin, M; Stewart, MT; Mazel, S; Speaker, L; Fuchs, T. "The Washington State hub and spoke model to expand access to medication treatment for opioid addiction." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 108. (2020): 33-39.
  • Hodgkin, Dominic; Horgan, Constance M.; Stewart, Maureen T.; Quinn, Amity E.; Creedon, Timothy B.; Reif, Sharon; Garnick, Deborah W. "Federal parity and access to behavioral health care in private health plans." Psychiatric Services 69. 4 (2018): 396-402.
  • Reif, Sharon; Sayko Adams, Rachel; Ritter, Grant A.; Williams, Thomas V.; Larson, Mary Jo. "Prevalence and burden of pain among active duty soldiers, FY 2012." Military Medicine 183. 9-10 (2018): e330–e337.
  • Stewart MT, Reif S, Dana B, Nguyen A, Torres ME, Davis MT, Ritter GR, Hodgkin DH, Horgan CH. "Value-based incentives in public addiction treatment systems: Effects on access and selection." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 95. (2018): 1-8.
  • Quinn, A.E.; Reif, Sharon; Merrick, E.L.; Horgan; C.M.; Garnick, D.W.; Stewart, M.T.. "How do private health plans manage specialty behavioral health treatment entry and continuing care?." Psychiatric Services 68. 9 (2017): 931-937.
  • Reif, Sharon; Acevedo, A.; Garnick, D.W.; Fullerton, C.A.. "Postdischarge follow-up services for individuals with substance use disorders: Influence on inpatient readmissions." Psychiatric Services 68. 8 (2017): 810-818.
  • Reif, Sharon; Creedon, T.B.; Horgan, C.M.; Stewart, M.T.; Garnick, D.W.. "Commercial health plan coverage of treatment for selected opioid use disorders from 2003 to 2014." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 49. 2 (2017): 102-110.
  • Stewart, Maureen T.; Horgan, Constance M.; Hodgkin, Dominic; Creedon, Timothy; Quinn, Amity E.; Garito, Lindsay; Reif, Sharon; Garnick, Deborah W.. "Behavioral health coverage under the Affordable Care Act: What can we learn from marketplace products?." Psychiatric Services 69. 3 (2017): 315-321.
  • Stewart, Maureen T.; Horgan, Constance M.; Quinn, Amity E.; Garnick, Deborah W.; Reif, Sharon; Creedon, Timothy B.; Merrick, Elizabeth L.. "The role of health plans in supporting behavioral health integration." Administration Policy Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 44. 6 (2017): 967-977.
  • Horgan CM, Stewart MT, Reif, Sharon, Garnick DW, Hodgkin D, Quinn AE. "Behavioral health services in the changing landscape of private health plans." Psychiatric Services 67. (2016): 622-629.
  • Reif, Sharon, Horgan CM, Kreiner P, Nikitin R. Behavioral health organizations current and future approaches to addressing the U.S. opioid crisis. Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness: 2016.
  • Reif, Sharon; Horgan CM; Hodgkin D; Matteucci A; Creedon T; Stewart MT.. "Access to addiction pharmacotherapy in private health plans.." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 66. (2016): 23-29.
  • Reif, Sharon; George P; Braude L; Dougherty RH; Daniels AS; Ghose SS; Delphin-Rittmon M.. "Peer recovery support services for substance use disorders: Assessing the evidence." Psychiatric Services 65. 7 (2015): 853-861.
  • Reif, Sharon; George, Preethy; Braude, Lisa; Dougherty, Richard H; Daniels, Allen S; Ghose SS, Delphin-Rittmon Miriam. "Residential treatment for substance use disorders: Assessing the evidence." Psychiatric Services 65. 3 (2014): 301-312.
  • Reif, Sharon; George, Preethy; Braude, Lisa; Dougherty, Richard H; Daniels, Allen S; Ghose SS; Delphin-Rittmon, Miriam. "Recovery housing: Assessing the evidence." Psychiatric Services 65. 3 (2014): 295-300.
  • Merrick, Elizabeth L.; Reif, Sharon; Hiatt, Deirdre; Hodgkin, Dominic; Horgan, Constance M.; Ritter, Grant. "Substance abuse treatment client experience in a privately insured population: perspectives from treatment entry through work-related outcomes." Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy 7. (2012): 4.
  • Reif, Sharon; Torres, Maria; Horgan, Constance M; Merrick, Elizabeth L. "Clinician characteristics in a private managed behavioral health plan." BMC Health Services Research 12. (2012): 283.
  • Reif, Sharon; Horgan, C.M.; Garnick, D.W.; McLellan, D.L.. "Systems-level smoking cessation activities by private health plans." Preventing Chronic Disease 8. 1 (2011):
  • Reif, Sharon; Larson, Mary Jo; Cheng, Debbie; Allensworth-Davies, Don; Samet, Jeffrey; Saitz, Rich. "Chronic disease and recent addiction treatment utilization among alcohol and drug dependent adults." Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy 6. (2011): 28.
  • Reif, Sharon; Ritter, G.A.; Horgan, C.M.. "Treatment services: Triangulation of methods when there is no gold standard." Substance Use & Misuse 46. 5 (2011): 620-632.
  • Merrick, Elizabeth; Reif, Sharon. "Services in an Era of Managed Care." A Public Health Perspective of Women’s Mental Health. Ed. Levin, B.L.; Becker, M.A.. New York: Springer, 2010. 201-227.
  • Reif S, Horgan CM, Torres M, Merrick EL. "Types of practitioners and outpatient visits in a private managed behavioral health plan." Psychiatric Services 61. 11 (2010): 1066-1068.
  • Wallack, S. S., Thomas, C. P., Martin, T. C., Chilingerian, J., Reif, S.. "Substance Abuse Treatment Organizations as Mediators of Social Policy: Slowing the Adoption of a Congressionally Approved Medication." J Behav Health Serv Res 37. 1 (2010): 64-78.
  • Merrick, E. L., Horgan, C. M., Garnick, D. W., Reif, S., Stewart, M. T.. "Accessing Specialty Behavioral Health Treatment in Private Health Plans." J Behav Health Serv Res 36. 4 (2009): 420-435.
  • Horgan, C. M., Reif, S., Hodgkin, D., Garnick, D. W., Merrick, E. L.. "Availability of addiction medications in private health plans." J Subst Abuse Treat 34. 2 (2008): 147-156.
  • Reif, Sharon; Horgan, Constance M.; Ritter, Grant A.. "Hispanics in specialty treatment for substance use disorders." Journal of Drug Issues 38. 1 (2008): 311-334.
  • Thomas, C. P., Reif, S., Haq, S., Wallack, S. S., Hoyt, A., Ritter, G. A.. "Use of buprenorphine for addiction treatment: perspectives of addiction specialists and general psychiatrists." Psychiatr Serv 59. 8 (2008): 909-16.
  • Angarita, G.A., Reif, S., Pirard, S., Lee, S., Sharon, E., Gastfriend, D.R. . "No-show for treatment in substance abuse patients with comorbid symptomatology: Validity results from a controlled trial of the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria." Journal of Addiction Medicine 1. 2 (2007): 79-87.
  • Horgan, C.M., Merrick, E., Reif, S., Stewart, M.. "Data Point: Internet-based Behavioral Health Services in Health Plans." Psychiatric Services 58. 3 (2007): 307.
  • Reif, S., Thomas, C.P., Wallack, Stanley S.. "Factors determining how early adopter physicians use buprenorphine in treatment." Journal of Addiction Medicine 1. 4 (2007): 205-212.
  • Ritter, G., Reif, S., Gadzuk, A., Krenzke, T., Mohadjer, L., Lee, M.T., Horgan, C.M.. "Incentive Effects on Cooperation Rates and Sample Composition in the Alcohol and Drug Services Study." Journal of Economic and Social Measurement 30. 2-3 (2005): 171-189.
  • Reif, Sharon, Horgan, Constance M., Ritter, Grant A., Tompkins, Christopher P.. "The impact of employment counseling on substance user treatment participation and outcomes." Substance Use & Misuse 39. 13&14 (2004): 2391-2424.