Drug use persists as a major global health problem that severely impacts individuals and affects many social institutions, such as health, mental health, criminal justice, and welfare systems. Asian/Pacific Island countries are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious consequences of substance abuse as they currently demonstrate some of the highest rates of opiate, methamphetamine, alcohol, and tobacco use, while exhibiting the highest rates of HIV transmission via injection drug use. These risks are exacerbated by inadequate access to treatment, the criminalization of drug use, and stigma associated with both substance use and HIV/AIDS, combined with limited infrastructure for addressing these issues and a lack of evidence-based research to help guide future policy and treatment plans on a local and national level. This application requests R13 funding over five years for an international Conference Series to Promote Global Health, which will include an annual three-day conference on translational research methods, prevention and treatment practices, and policy issues regarding substance use disorders and their interplay with HIV and other health consequences among Asian and Pacific Islander groups living in the USA and abroad. The proposed Conference Series has the following aims: (1) Establish an international network for future collaboration in substance abuse research and prevention/treatment programs, (2) Update research findings on substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, and related topics, (3) Provide intensive learning/training experiences to impart knowledge on methodological tools necessary for the conceptualization, implementation, and analysis of research, and (4) Provide training workshops for local providers in treatment and prevention approaches and practices. The Annual Conferences will rotate among Asian/Pacific Island countries and the U.S., with each country providing local support as the annual "co-host." The proposed Conference Series for infrastructure development and training and education activities will extend NIDA's mission of promulgating research-based interventions to improve services and promote global health.
The knowledge and information disseminated in the proposed conference will promote innovative conceptualization, effective methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration in the conduct of substance abuse and HIV research particularly relevant to the Asian and Pacific Islander populations, which will improve public health by developing comprehensive understanding of drug and alcohol use and its interplay with HIV, drug treatment, mental health, health, criminal justice and other service systems in local communities, Asian/Pacific Island countries, and around the world.
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