Our goal is to enhance our capacity to conduct drug abuse research with criminal justice populations from a public health perspective, at the University Of Puerto Rico Graduate School Of Public Health. Our research development strategy centers on developing research proficiency in research in a critical mass of faculty that will cohesively pursue epidemiological, clinical, and health services research relevant to engaging and retaining in treatment inmates with histories of a substance use disorder with co-occurring HIV or ADHD. The program will develop research capacity in students at different stages in their education and encourage them to pursue drug abuse research careers. In this application we present two research projects. They both propose developmental work required to later explore the drug treatment moderating effects of specific characteristics of individuals with a SUD. One study will explore if self stigma associated with the drug user identity is associated with treatment avoidance or early termination of drug abuse and/or HIV treatment. The other explores the potential moderating effects on drug treatment of the dimensions of the ADHD disorder spectrum. The work proposed will provide hands on research training experiences for faculty and students. These projects embedded in the organizational structure and culture of the DIDARP and backed by strong leadership, institutional support, and a range of research capacity building activities, will provide the conditions necessary to attain the following specific aims:
Aim1. Provide leadership, support, and coordination to increase the number of independent Latino researchers capable of successfully conducting drug abuse research relevant to a criminal justice context.
Aim 2 : Provide a long term research experience (2 yrs) for 8 graduate students that increases their likelihood of pursuing drug abuse research careers.
Aim 3 : Enhance institutional resources that sustain the successful planning and conduct of drug abuse research supported with external funds.
We expect to build a synergestic cluster of faculty, students, and academic leaders that have expressed a growing interest in the public health impact of problems associated with drug abuse in the criminal justice population.
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