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Verena E. Metz, PhD


Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
2000 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

510-891-3442  (phone)

​Verena Metz, PhD, is a staff scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, a member of the Drug and Alcohol Research Team (DART). She studied psychology at the University of Vienna, Austria, and completed a doctoral program of Applied Medical Science in Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, where she also trained as a clinical and health psychologist. Her doctoral thesis focused on maternal and neonatal outcome parameters of women receiving opioid maintenance treatment throughout their pregnancy. Her interest in substance use disorders and vulnerable patient populations led her to complete postdoctoral research training in the Division of Substance Use Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center (New York State Psychiatric Institute), where she was mainly involved in medication trials in opioid-using, non-treatment-seeking volunteers, and a harm reduction study focusing on reducing opioid overdose deaths in New York City. In San Francisco, she worked briefly at the Friends Research Institute, implementing a study in a clinic with methadone-treated patients, before completing a 2-year clinical training in community mental health and school settings, to receive her license as a psychologist in California.  

Current Position(s):

  • Staff Scientist, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Section Affiliations:

Primary Research Interests:

  • Prevention of and early intervention for substance use disorders
  • Integrated mental health care/comprehensive health care
  • Gender, cultural background, and other individual and socio-cultural characteristics affecting mental health
  • Mental Health and substance use disorders in vulnerable patient populations

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    Alcohol brief intervention, specialty treatment and drinking outcomes at 12 months: Results from a systematic alcohol screening and brief intervention initiative in adult primary care

    Author(s): Chi FW; Metz VE; Weisner C; Campbell CI; Sterling SA; et al.

    Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 Apr 12;235:109458. Epub 2022-04-12.

    PubMed abstract

    Substance use disorders among primary care patients screening positive for unhealthy alcohol use

    Author(s): Metz VE; Palzes VA; Kline-Simon AH; Chi FW; Campbell CI; Weisner CM; Sterling SA

    Fam Pract. 2021 Dec 29.

    PubMed abstract

    Patient and provider factors associated with receipt and delivery of brief interventions for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care

    Author(s): Lu Y; Metz VE; Weisner C; Campbell CI; Sterling SA; et al.

    Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2021 Sep 05.

    PubMed abstract

    Physical, Mental Health and Developmental Conditions, and Sociodemographic Characteristics Associated With Adverse Childhood Experiences Among Young Children in Pediatric Primary Care

    Author(s): Sterling S; Iturralde E; Young-Wolff K; Metz VE; Espinas P; et al.

    J Pediatr Health Care. 2021 Jul 02.

    PubMed abstract

    How competent are people who use opioids at responding to overdoses? Qualitative analyses of actions and decisions taken during overdose emergencies.

    Author(s): Neale, Joanne J; Brown, Caral C; Campbell, Aimee N C ANC; Jones, Jermaine D JD; Metz, Verena E VE; Strang, John J; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2019 04 ;114(4):708-718. Epub 2018-12-28.

    PubMed abstract

    The PPARγ Agonist Pioglitazone Fails to Alter the Abuse Potential of Heroin, But Does Reduce Heroin Craving and Anxiety.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Bisaga, Adam A; Metz, Verena E VE; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Mogali, Shanthi S; Ciccocioppo, Roberto R; Madera, Gabriela G; Doernberg, Molly M; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Journal of psychoactive drugs. 2019 04 ;50(5):390-401. Epub 2018-09-11.

    PubMed abstract

    Characteristics of drug use among pregnant women in the United States: Opioid and non-opioid illegal drug use.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena E VE; Brown, Qiana L QL; Martins, Silvia S SS; Palamar, Joseph J JJ

    Drug and alcohol dependence. 2018 02 01;183(5):261-266. Epub 2017-12-27.

    PubMed abstract

    Pioglitazone, a PPARγ agonist, reduces nicotine craving in humans, with marginal effects on abuse potential.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Comer, Sandra D SD; Metz, Verena E VE; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Mogali, Shanthi S; Ciccocioppo, Roberto R; Martinez, Suky S; Mumtaz, Mudassir M; Bisaga, Adam A

    Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 2017 Dec 01;163(5):90-100. Epub 2017-10-08.

    PubMed abstract

    Abuse liability of intravenous buprenorphine vs. buprenorphine/naloxone: Importance of absolute naloxone amount.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Mogali, Shanthi S; Metz, Verena E VE; Madera, Gabriela G; Martinez, Suky S; Mumtaz, Mudassir M; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Drug and alcohol dependence. 2017 10 01;179(5):362-369. Epub 2017-07-26.

    PubMed abstract

    Effects of Ibudilast on the Subjective, Reinforcing, and Analgesic Effects of Oxycodone in Recently Detoxified Adults with Opioid Dependence.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena E VE; Jones, Jermaine D JD; Manubay, Jeanne J; Sullivan, Maria A MA; Mogali, Shanthi S; Segoshi, Andrew A; Madera, Gabriela G; Johnson, Kirk W KW; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Aug 01;42(9):1825-1832. Epub 2017-04-10.

    PubMed abstract

    No evidence of compensatory drug use risk behavior among heroin users after receiving take-home naloxone.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Campbell, Aimee A; Metz, Verena E VE; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Addictive behaviors. 2017 08 01;71(9):104-106. Epub 2017-03-09.

    PubMed abstract

    Racial Differences in HIV and HCV Risk Behaviors, Transmission, and Prevention Knowledge among Non-Treatment-Seeking Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena E VE; Sullivan, Maria A MA; Jones, Jermaine D JD; Evans, Elizabeth E; Luba, Rachel R; Vogelman, Jonathan J; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Journal of psychoactive drugs. 2017 08 01;49(1):59-68. Epub 2016-12-05.

    PubMed abstract

    The effects of pioglitazone, a PPARγ receptor agonist, on the abuse liability of oxycodone among nondependent opioid users.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Sullivan, Maria A MA; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Mogali, Shanthi S; Metz, Verena E VE; Ciccocioppo, Roberto R; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Physiology & behavior. 2016 May 15;159(1):33-9. Epub 2015-10-09.

    PubMed abstract

    Need and utility of a polyethylene glycol marker to ensure against urine falsification among heroin users.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Atchison, Jared J JJ; Madera, Gabriela G; Metz, Verena E VE; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Drug and alcohol dependence. 2015 Aug 01;153(1):201-6. Epub 2015-05-27.

    PubMed abstract

    Abuse potential of intranasal buprenorphine versus buprenorphine/naloxone in buprenorphine-maintained heroin users.

    Author(s): Jones, Jermaine D JD; Sullivan, Maria A MA; Vosburg, Suzanne K SK; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Mogali, Shanthi S; Metz, Verena V; Comer, Sandra D SD

    Addiction biology. 2015 Jul 01;20(4):784-98. Epub 2014-07-25.

    PubMed abstract

    Characteristics and quality of life of opioid-dependent pregnant women in Austria.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena E VE; Comer, Sandra D SD; Wuerzl, Johanna J; Pribasnig, Anna A; Fischer, Gabriele G

    Archives of women's mental health. 2014 Dec 01;17(6):529-39. Epub 2014-07-15.

    PubMed abstract

    Substance abuse/dependence treatment: a European perspective.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena E VE; Brandt, Laura L; Unger, Annemarie A; Fischer, Gabriele G

    Substance abuse. 2014 Dec 01;35(3):309-20. Epub 2014-07-15.

    PubMed abstract

    Comparison of a drug versus money and drug versus drug self-administration choice procedure with oxycodone and morphine in opioid addicts.

    Author(s): Comer, Sandra D SD; Metz, Verena E VE; Cooper, Ziva D ZD; Kowalczyk, William J WJ; Jones, Jermaine D JD; Sullivan, Maria A MA; Manubay, Jeanne M JM; Vosburg, Suzanne K SK; Smith, Mary E ME; Peyser, Deena D; Saccone, Phillip A PA

    Behavioural pharmacology. 2013 Sep 01;24(5-6):504-16. Epub 2014-07-15.

    PubMed abstract

    Should pregnant women with substance use disorders be managed differently?

    Author(s): Metz, Verena V; Köchl, Birgit B; Fischer, Gabriele G

    Neuropsychiatry. 2012 Jan 25;2(1):29-41. Epub 2014-07-15.

    PubMed abstract

    Influence of site differences between urban and rural American and Central European opioid-dependent pregnant women and neonatal outcome characteristics.

    Author(s): Baewert, Andjela A; Jagsch, Reinhold R; Winklbaur, Bernadette B; Kaiser, Gerda G; Thau, Kenneth K; Unger, Annemarie A; Aschauer, Constantin C; Weninger, Manfred M; Metz, Verena V

    European addiction research. 2012 Jan 25;18(3):130-9. Epub 2012-02-21.

    PubMed abstract

    Opioid dependent and pregnant: what are the best options for mothers and neonates?

    Author(s): Unger, Annemarie A; Metz, Verena V; Fischer, Gabriele G

    Obstetrics and gynecology international. 2012 Jan 25;2012(1):195954. Epub 2012-02-07.

    PubMed abstract

    Impact of treatment approach on maternal and neonatal outcome in pregnant opioid-maintained women.

    Author(s): Metz, Verena V; Jagsch, Reinhold R; Ebner, Nina N; Würzl, Johanna J; Pribasnig, Anna A; Aschauer, Constantin C; Fischer, Gabriele G

    Human psychopharmacology. 2011 Aug 25;26(6):412-21. Epub 2011-08-08.

    PubMed abstract

    First-trimester fetal heart rate in mothers with opioid addiction.

    Author(s): Schmid, Maximilian M; Kuessel, Lorenz L; Klein, Katharina K; Metz, Verena V; Fischer, Gabriele G; Krampl-Bettelheim, Elisabeth E

    Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2010 Jul 25;105(7):1265-8. Epub 2011-08-08.

    PubMed abstract

    Association between prenatal tobacco exposure and outcome of neonates born to opioid-maintained mothers. Implications for treatment.

    Author(s): Winklbaur, Bernadette B; Baewert, Andjela A; Jagsch, Reinhold R; Rohrmeister, Klaudia K; Metz, Verena V; Aeschbach Jachmann, Crispa C; Thau, Kenneth K; Fischer, Gabriele G

    European addiction research. 2009 Jul 25;15(3):150-6. Epub 2009-05-07.

    PubMed abstract