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Karen Drexler, MD

Associate Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

National Mental Health Program Director - Substance Use Disorders
Veterans Affairs Central Office

Phone: 404-321-6111



Dr. Drexler attended medical school at Duke University School of Medicine and completed her psychiatry residency at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. She served as an attending psychiatrist at the Wright Patterson US Air Force Medical Center and on the faculty at Wright State School of Medicine from 1990 to 1994. She joined the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in 1994 as Director of the Substance Abuse Treatment Program at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, until January 2014. She served as the first Residency Training Director for the Emory Addiction Psychiatry Residency Training Program from 2001 to 2014. Starting in January 2014, Dr. Drexler served as the Deputy National Mental Health Program Director, Addictive Disorders in Mental Health Services (MHS) within Patient Care Services at VA Central Office (VACO) in Washington, DC. The mission of MHS is to advance quality of care for Veterans with mental illness and addictive disorders. Her research interests include neurobiology of addiction, clinical trials and health services research for addictive disorders. Since 2016, Dr. Drexler has served as the National Mental Health Program Director for Substance Use Disorders at the Veterans Affairs Central Office.  She continues to serve as a teacher and mentor to Emory students, residents and faculty.