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UK Receives NIH Grant to Establish
Drug Abuse Research Center

By Jennifer Bonck

 

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The overall aim of the Central States Center is to design and carry out research to improve interventions for drug abusers involved in the criminal justice system in order to reduce recidivism, drug abuse and crime.

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Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2002) -- The University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) has been awarded a five-year grant to establish a center to focus on improving the transitions of drug abusers from prison to community and to community treatment.

The grant, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), establishes the Central States Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Research Systems (CJ-DATS) Center in Lexington as one of seven centers in the U.S.

The overall aim of the Central States Center is to design and carry out research to improve interventions for drug abusers involved in the criminal justice system in order to reduce recidivism, drug abuse and crime.

The Central States Center builds on previous and ongoing research in Lexington, which began in 1935 when the first facility to treat heroin users in the United States was established. The center will add to that tradition with capacity to plan, research and implement studies, collect and analyze data, and develop clinical publications.

The grant also involves two initial multi-site trials, across six other sites in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, Texas and California. The first trial will examine an enhanced employment intervention focused on getting a job, keeping a job, and getting a better job, which was developed by UK. The second trial will evaluate a case management intervention, which incorporates a criminal thinking errors approach.

Carl Leukefeld, director, CDAR, is the principal investigator of the grant.

The Central States Center studies will add information to better understand the relationship of drugs and crime, particularly among individuals who live in rural areas like Kentucky.

The center will also add to information about understanding the criminal justice system, which has numerous offenders who are drug abusers.

Few approaches have been developed that focus on criminal justice involved drug abusers as they transition from prison to community treatment, particularly those from rural areas.

Such approaches are needed because it is estimated that 500,000 U.S. prisoners will return to the community each year for the next several years, and 83 percent of those returning are believed to be drug abusers.


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