CoLab is led by four CHPPR University of Texas Health faculty with international and domestic substance use and chronic disease research backgrounds. Their research is focused on assisting and improving the lives of underserved people with a history of substance use, mental health concerns, comorbidities, and sexually transmitted diseases. The team hopes to eliminate inequities and health disparities through training opportunities, health education, and social justice programs while collaborating with diverse, marginalized communities.
Housing for Opioid MAT Expanded Services (Project HOMES)
Project HOMES provides housing for people in Medication-Assisted Recovery (MAR) from opioid and stimulant. Our residences across the Texas region are substance-free and work to create a supportive environment for people with a history of problematic substance use. We have 14 homes, all in compliance with National Association for Recovery Residence (NARR) standards. We have conducted quantitative and qualitative research in evaluating our residents and a cost-benefit analysis to capture the net benefit of recovery residents to society. Our main objectives include identifying variables to promote positive health outcomes, identifying programming priorities, and informing decision-making for people with an opioid use disorder (OUD). While recovering from opioid use is a personal experience that looks different for every person, we hope to capture all the unique experiences that every resident encounters in their recovery journey.
Using Local Data to Tackle a National Problem: Overdose Data to Action
Forty cities and health departments fund OD2A: Local to build a strong foundation and facilitate cooperation among public health, behavioral health, health systems, community organizations, and public safety. We are using data to tailor prevention strategies to reach groups who are disproportionately affected by the overdose epidemic and are at the highest risk of overdose and developing robust partnerships with local overdose responders. We aim to ensure that culturally relevant information and the delivery of prevention projects are informed through data and ongoing engagement with populations.
Behavioral Workforce Education and Training (BHWET)
As a program funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Behavioral Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) is working to expand the recovery support peer specialists (RSPS) workforce in Texas. The program builds on the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP). RSPS assists individuals with substance use disorders using medication-assisted treatment and living in recovery residences. The RSPS program also trains people interested in becoming peer specialists through educational classes and internships, where they are supported with fees, tuition, and training and receive a stipend.
Enhanced Integrated Treatment Program with Sexual Health in Recovery
E-ITP SHIR is an evidence-based intervention funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for increasing access to sexual health, substance use, and mental health treatment for Latino and African-American gay/bi men and transgender women who are at risk for contracting or transmitting HIV and use drugs during risky sex. The program assesses each client’s sexual health and existing shame about sexual behaviors. The ITP consists of several tailored formats: (1) An intensive outpatient program, individual therapy, and case management; (2) A supportive outpatient program to address relapse prevention plus individual therapy and case management; (3) Individual therapy and case management.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Review of Opioid Abatement Strategies
The goal of this project was to conduct a literature review on strategies to abate opioid use disorders, train health providers and community leaders on how to use Narcan and help people with opioid use disorders get started on medically-assisted therapies. In addition, we also evaluated the coordination of care of individuals undergoing medication-assisted treatments (MAT), routine treatments, and the effectiveness of prevention programs, and support services. We also provided actionable items to prevent overdose deaths and improve healthcare services.