Silvia Martins

Silvia Martins

Silvia Martins

Associate Professor
Co-Director, Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program


722 West 168th Street 5th Floor Room 509
New York NY United States 10032


Dr. Silvia S. Martins is a faculty member of the Psych-Neuro cluster of the Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is also currently the co-director of the NIDA T32 Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program in the department and the Course Director of Principles of Epidemiology (P6400). Her current research focuses on environmental and individual factors associated with substance use and substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders in the U.S. general population and gambling/problem gambling in Puerto Rican Youth. She has led 6 federally funded (2 of which are active- 1R01 HD060072 and 1R01 DA037866) and 3 privately funded research studies over the past-decade. Her research portfolio has included NIDA-NIH funded studies to investigate trends in nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder in the U.S. populations and a recently-funded study to investigate the effects of state-level marijuana laws on the prevalence of marijuana use among adolescents and adults as well as other consequences potentially related to the implementation of these laws. She is also the principal investigator of a project to examine the effects of urban violence in the development of psychopathology among youth in Brazil. Dr. Martins currently collaborates with researchers in other U.S. institutions, Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, and France.



PhD, 2003, University of Sao Paulo-USP-Brazil
MD, 1998, UFPR- Brazil

Mailman Affiliations

Faculty, Global Health Initiative

Editorial Boards

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

Columbia Affiliations

Other Affiliations

Member- American Psychopathological Association
Member-National Hispanic Science Network
Member-World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section
Scientific Advisory Board, Responsible Gaming Accreditation Board

Honors & Awards

American Psychiatric Association Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators Award, 2004 & 2006
NIDA Women and Gender Junior Investigator Travel Award, 2007
Joseph Ciarrocchi Recognition Award from the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling for pioneering efforts in research on youth problem gambling, 2011
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Travel Awardee, 2011
Columbia President's Global Innovation Fund, 2013

Areas of Expertise

Adolescent Health, Social / Cultural Issues, Social Epidemiology, Underserved Populations, Mental Health, Addiction/Drug Abuse, Urban Health

Select Urban Health Activities

Predictors of Impulsive Behaviors among Puerto-Rican Youth: This study integrates a developmental model of PG, Blaszczynski and Nower's Pathways model (so far only examined cross-sectionally) with a context -and intervention-informed developmental model of other risk behaviors (Ecodevelopmental theory). We will collect new information about gambling behaviors and PG on a high-risk population of 1,100 youth/young adults from two population-based samples of Puerto Rican (ages 15-26) from two sites: the South Bronx (SBx), NYC and San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR) by taking advantage of an ongoing study, the Boricua Youth Study (BYS-R01DA033172, PI: Duarte and R01MH09837, PIs: Alegria, Canino & Duarte), which has been following Puerto Rican individuals prospectively since 2001. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National institute of Child and Human Development-1R01 HD060072.
Trauma, Mental Health, and Early Childhood Development: The overall aim of this proposal is to collect cross-sectional data among 1,250 4-6 year-old children attending preschool in Brazil and their caregivers. The goal is to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology in early childhood, focusing on the central role of traumatic events experienced in early childhood among an urban population.
A natural history study of buprenorphine diversion, self-treatment, and engagement with formal treatment services: The overall purpose of this natural history study is to describe and analyze the nature and consequences of diverted buprenorphine use among heroin and/or non-medical pharmaceutical opioid users (NMPU) with DSM-5 opioid use disorder.

Select Global Activities

URBANICITY, CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND ADOLESCENT COMORBID PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN BRAZIL AND CHILE, Brazil, Chile: This project aims to build capacity among Brazilian and Chilean epidemiology and child psychiatry researchers to conduct epidemiological longitudinal studies to identify potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of psychiatric co-morbidity (including substance use) from childhood to adolescence, focusing on the central role of traumatic events experienced in childhood among an urban population.
CITIES AND MENTAL HEALTH: EXAMINING SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF MENTAL DISORDERS IN LARGE URBAN AREAS IN A MULTICENTRIC ANALYSIS OF THE WORLD MENTAL HEALTH SURVEY INITIATIVE, Brazil: This project aims to identify and analyze the social determinants of mental disorders in the ten megacities (cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) of the World Mental Health Survey Initiative (WMHSI): New York City, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Lagos, Mexico City, Paris, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, totaling around 20,000 individuals (an average of 2,000 per megacity), representing a reasonably well-distributed sample from low (Nigeria and China), medium (Brazil, Argentina and Mexico) and high (United States and France) income countries.
The health and social consequences of national marijuana legalization , Uruguay: To evaluate the impact of Uruguay’s recent national marijuana legalization on adolescent and adult marijuana use and marijuana dependence, as well as on the consequences of marijuana use.

Select Publications

Martins SS, Mauro C, Santaella J, Kim JH, Cerda M, Keyes KM, Hasin DS, Galea S, Wall MM. State-level Medical Marijuana Laws, Marijuana Use and Perceived Availability of Marijuana Use among the General U.S. Population. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, in press.
Martins S.S., W.M.M., Eisenberg R., Blanco C., Santaella J., Ramos-Olazagasti M., Canino G., Bird H.R., Brown Q., Duarte C.S. (2015). Trajectories of Sensation Seeking Among Puerto Rican Children and Youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(12), 1042-1050.
Martins SS, Sampson LA, Cerda M, Galea S. Global prevalence and trends in unintentional drug overdose: A systematic review of the literature. American Journal of Public Health, in press.
Martins SS, Santaella J, Marshall BDL, Maldonado A, MC. Racial/ethnic differences in trends in heroin use and heroin risk behaviors among nonmedical prescription opioid users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 151, 278-283.
Castaldelli-Maia JM*, Silveira CM, Milhorana IA, Pang WY, Siu ER, Alexandrino-Silva C, Borges G, Viana MC, Andrade AG, Schukitt M, Andrade LH, Martins SS. Subtypes of alcohol users in a population-based sample: results from the Sao Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey, Brazil. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014 Mar 1;136:92-9.
Eaton WW, Martins SS, Nestadt G, Bienvenu OJ, Clarke D, Alexandre PK. The Burden of Mental Disorders. Epidemiologic Reviews, 2008, 30:1-14.
Martins SS, Fenton MC, Keyes KM, Blanco C, Zhu H, Storr CL. Mood/Anxiety disorders and their association with non-medical prescription opioid use and prescription opioid use disorder: longitudinal evidence from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Psychological Medicine, 2012; 42(6):1261-72.
Martins SS, Ko JY, Kuwabara S, Mendelson T Clarke D, Zandi P, Alexandre PK, Mortensen P, Eaton WW. THE RELATIONSHIP OF ADULT MENTAL DISORDERS TO RACE, SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, AND URBANICITY OF RESIDENCE. In: Eaton WW, Public Mental Health. Oxford University Press. 2012, pp.151-200.
Liu W, Lee GP, Goldweber A, Petras H, Storr CL, Ialongo NS, Martins SS. Impulsivity Trajectories and Gambling in Adolescence among Urban Male Youth. Addiction, 2013; 108(4):780-8.
75. Lee GP, Stuart EA, Ialongo NS, Martins SS. Parental monitoring trajectories and gambling among a longitudinal cohort of urban youth. Addiction, Nov 6. doi: 10.1111/add.12399. [Epub ahead of print].

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