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Health Disparities Initiatives–FY 2002 – 2007

About NIDA

NIDA has supported numerous health disparities funding programs and initiatives over the past several years to better understand and address drug abuse and addiction among racial/ethnic minority populations. Examples of funded research follow.

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Health Disparities: Drug Use and Its Adverse Behavioral, Social, Medical, and Mental Health Consequences RFA (2001)

This request for applications (RFA) was part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agency-wide initiative to eliminate health disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations. It was designed to stimulate epidemiologic, prevention, treatment, and services research that addresses issues relating to the differential drug use patterns and/or their associated behavioral, social, medical, and mental health consequences within and across racial and ethnic minority populations.

  • Race/Ethnicity and the Process of Smoking Cessation
    Smoking is the leading cause of a preventable death and disability in the United States, and African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of the health consequences of smoking. Compared with White smokers, African Americans have a higher incidence and death rate for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, larynx, stomach, pancreas, and lung. This study was an epidemiologic investigation using a longitudinal cohort design to examine racial/ethnic differences in the process of smoking cessation and relapse among African American and White smokers.
    David Wetter, Ph.D.
    The University of Texas M .D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Ethnic Differences in Competence and Adolescent Drug Use
    The primary aim of this research was to develop, test, and refine several etiologic models of adolescent substance use, examining these models for two distinct groups: a predominantly White suburban sample and a largely minority inner-city sample. Specifically, the study elucidated how competence skills influence the initiation, escalation, and maintenance of drug use during adolescence by examining mediational and moderational models and cross-validating them across ethnic and gender subgroups.
    Kenneth W. Griffin, Ph.D.
    Cornell University
  • Drug Attitudes and Behavior on the United States-Mexico Border
    The objective of this study was to improve knowledge and understanding of disparities in drug use and related attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to drug use and drug treatment utilization among Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations living in proximity to the United States-Mexico border. It had been expected that knowledge gained from this study would benefit service planners who anticipate a need for current and future strategies to respond better to the problems and needs of Hispanic and bicultural populations.
    Richard T. Spence, Ph.D.
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Homeless Women: Drugs, Race/Ethnicity, and Health Care
    This study employed secondary data from two complementary funded studies to analyze the association between drug use and use of general health care. The first data set screened for lifetime drug dependence in a community-based probability sample of 861 homeless women in Los Angeles County, and the second data set assessed current heavy drug use and lifetime injection drug use in a purposive sample of 1,330 homeless women in Los Angeles. The study tested a hypothesis regarding a wide range of predisposing and enabling factors potentially associated with access to general health services by African American, Latina, and White homeless women with drug problems.
    Lillian Gelberg, M.D.
    University of California, Los Angeles

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Administrative Supplements for Health Disparities Research (2002)

The purpose of the solicitation was to give NIDA-funded researchers the opportunity (1) to recruit additional study participants or (2) to expand analyses of existing cohorts that already have sufficient representation from various racial/ethnic populations in order to assess patterns of drug use and effects, and potential adverse behavioral, social, and health consequences or differential treatment outcomes within and across racial/ethnic groups.

  • Drug Use Among Young Indians
    This supplement allowed researchers to survey a large number of Indian youth attending Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools. Its purpose was to determine the ways in which the youth attending BIA schools differed from other Indian youth in terms of both their psychosocial profile and rates of drug use and violence. The supplement provided research on a substantial population about which little is known.
    Frederick Beauvais, Ph.D.
    Colorado State University
  • Maintenance Treatment for the Prevention of Relapse to Smoking
    With this parent grant's supplement, researchers obtained an over-sample of Asian smokers in order to clarify the effectiveness of cessation treatment for Asian smokers and to begin to gather baseline information for Asian smokers. Results from these activities were expected to add to the very limited knowledge base on tobacco use among racial/ethnic minorities in the United States and possibly to permit the development of appropriately tailored interventions for preventing and reducing tobacco use in these populations.
    Brian Edlin, M.D.
    University of California, San Francisco
  • Intervention to Reduce Injection Drug Use
    Researchers proposed to use this supplement to recruit additional African American participants (beyond the 16 percent proposed in the parent grant) to better equate the grant's samples sizes of African American, Hispanic, and White drug users in order to facilitate ethnic comparisons on outcome variables within and among three intervention models. The supplement aimed at achieving this by focusing efforts in census tracts where there are high concentrations of African American injection drug users, as determined by the targeted sampling plan (using drug indicator data) developed at the beginning of the project.
    Robert Booth, Ph.D.
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • Methamphetamine Abuse: Natural History, Treatment Effects
    Using this supplement, researchers recruited and interviewed 80 Spanish monolingual/Spanish-dominant treatment-naïve methamphetamine users to expand the diversity of the Hispanic segment of the parent grant sample. In addition to expanding the overall sample for the original aims of describing methamphetamine use histories and related subject characteristics and behavior s for treated and never-treated methamphetamine users and describing barriers to treatment, the supplement sample enabled (1) a comparison of the English-dominant and Spanish-dominant Hispanic subgroups in terms of drug use patterns, HIV/AIDS risk behaviors, physical and mental health, and treatment motivation readiness within the never-treated sample; (2) an assessment of the relationship of components of acculturation and traditionalism to patterns of drug use; and (3) a description of treatment access issues and barriers for the Spanish-dominant group.
    Mary-Lynn Brecht, Ph.D.
    University of California, Los Angeles

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Administrative Supplements for Research on the Intersection of Drug Use and Criminal Justice Consequences in the African American Populations (2005)

The purpose of this administrative supplement was to give NIDA-funded researchers the opportunity to pursue research that will help clarify the relationship between drug use/addiction and criminalization/criminal justice involvement in the African American population.

  • Center for Research on Improving Treatment of Drug Abuse
    Using this supplement, researchers investigated the relationship between drug addiction and criminal justice involvement in the African American population by recruiting a larger sample of African Americans in a P60 study of naltrexone for probationers. The larger sample enabled a greater focus on issues relevant to this minority population. Additionally, the supplement made it possible to add several measures to the existing assessment battery, which were used to identify predictors and correlates of HIV risk behavior in this population, as well as adherence to medication, drug use, and employment outcomes.
    Charles O'Brien, M.D., Ph.D.
    University of Pennsylvania
  • HIV Prevention Groups for Alcohol and Other Drug-Abusing, Severely Mentally Ill Women
    Researchers used this supplement to examine the effects of 5-week behavioral skills training intervention (Brief Behavioral Skills Intervention or BBSI) on sexual risk-taking of African American women involved in the criminal justice system. It consisted of a 2x3 randomized experimental design with experimental conditions (BBSI and Comparison Condition) as the between-subject factor and pre-, post-, and 3-month post-treatment follow-up as a within-subject factor.
    Robert Malow, Ph.D.
    Florida International University
  • Family-Based Juvenile Drug Court Services
    With supplemental funds, investigators recruited 30 additional African American youth into the parent study in order to test a culturally specific juvenile drug court outreach protocol and to explore issues of juvenile drug court and treatment effectiveness for African American youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
    Gayle Dakof, Ph.D.
    University of Miami
  • Incidence of HIV Infection in a Cohort of Injection Drug Users
    Researchers used this supplement to expand the analysis of the parent grant to examine both behaviors leading to incarceration and the impact of incarceration—not only on HIV risk behavior, but on HIV incidence and treatment outcomes among African Americans.
    Shruti Mehta, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Johns Hopkins University

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Administrative Supplements for Research on Native American/Alaska Native and Asian American/Pacific Islander Populations (2007)

The purpose of this administrative supplement was to give NIDA-funded researchers the opportunity (1) to recruit additional study participants from Native American/Alaska Native and Asian American/Pacific Islander populations, or (2) to expand analyses of existing samples, which already had sufficient representation from these populations, in order to assess patterns of drug use; effects, and potential adverse behavioral, social, and health consequences; or differential treatment outcomes within and across these specific targeted populations.

  • Differential Patterns of Drug Abuse, Services Utilization, and Treatment Outcomes
    Through secondary data analysis, this supplement enabled researchers to contrast Native American/Alaska Natives and Asian American/Pacific Islanders with non-Native American/Alaska Natives and non-Asian American/Pacific Islanders to understand racial/ethnic-related differences in patterns of drug abuse and addiction; to identify health, behavioral, or social consequences associated with drug abuse, addiction, and related diseases; to explore ways for more appropriate and better targeted services, treatment, and prevention interventions; and to determine if patterns of drug abuse, service utilization, and treatment outcomes among Native American/Alaska Native and Asian American/Pacific Islander populations are the same or different across criminal justice system or non-criminal justice system settings.
    Yih-Ing Hser, Ph.D.
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ecstasy "Epidemic" and Youth: Trends, Comorbidity, Risk, and Prevention
    Although it has been reported that the prevalence of drug use is generally low among Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, rates of their use of certain drugs are quite high and much higher than the use rates of other minority groups. Ecstasy is one of these drugs. This supplement allowed researchers to conduct a secondary analysis of data on 2,530 Asian American/Pacific Islander youth (drawn from the 2002 and 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health). The study aims were to examine use of ecstasy and other drugs in Asian American/Pacific Islander youth and related risk and protective factors (at the individual, family, and community levels) and to assess patterns of drug treatment service use, unmet service needs, barriers to services, and related health disparities in Asian American/Pacific Islander youth.
    Ping Wu, Ph.D.
    Columbia University
  • Disentangling Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorder Comorbidity for Future HuGE (Human Genome Epidemiology)
    Previous data indicate that admixed minorities are at a higher risk of substance use and abuse. With this supplement, researchers conducted analyses to document admixture reporting patterns among Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders compared with census data, examine whether question sequences affect the admixture reporting rates, delineate sources of self-reported admixture identity, and extend phenotypic and social admixture analyses proposed in the parent grant to replicate the results to date using additional data sets.
    Rumi Price, Ph.D.
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Motivational Parent Training in Community Corrections
    Relatively little is known about Asian Americans in the criminal justice system. This supplement enabled researchers to recruit into the parent study 60 Asian American offenders under community supervision who are living with their minor children. Data were gathered on substance use and legal histories, motivational attitudes toward staying out of trouble with the law, parenting skills and attitudes, and parent and teacher reports of children's behavior and achievement. Focus groups were held with Asian American parents to review the motivational parent training curriculum and obtain recommendations from participants regarding cultural sensitivity and appropriateness.
    Lewis Bank, Ph.D.
    Oregon Social Learning Center

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Featured Publication

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Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.

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