Michael S. Gordon

FRI Research Cited in Pew Charitable Trusts Report on Treating Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons

Drs. Michael Gordon, Timothy Kinlock (retired) and Robert Schwartz were cited in an April 2020 Pew Charitable Trusts report for their work on two National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded studies involving the initiation of methadone and buprenorphine-naloxone with individuals who were currently in prison. This work was conducted in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in the state of Maryland. They were the first randomized controlled trials in the United States to involve individuals in prison who had pre-incarceration histories of opioid use disorders. Such efforts are aimed at finding effective approaches to reduce the high rates of relapse and overdose death following release from incarceration.

FRI Welcomes New Senior Research Scientist

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Mishka Terplan has accepted the position of Senior Physician Research Scientist at FRI. Dr. Terplan is a physician who is Board Certified in both Obstetrics & Gynecology and Addiction Medicine. His primary clinical, research and advocacy interests rest along the intersection of reproductive and behavioral health. He is best known for his work on pregnancy and substance use disorder, including systematic reviews on both medication and psychosocial interventions. He has pioneered research and programs integrating sexual and reproductive health with substance use disorder treatment and integrating behavioral health with the delivery of reproductive health services.

Most recently he served as Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he opened an outpatient addiction medicine clinic and oversaw addiction medicine services. In addition to his work for FRI, he is the Addiction Medicine Consultant for Virginia Medicaid and Adjunct Faculty at the University of California, San Francisco where he serves as a Substance Use Warmline Clinician for its Clinical Consultation Center.

FRI Studies Cited in Baltimore Sun Article

In July of 2019, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board published an article entitled, “Maryland can stop black market suboxone in prisons by making it available to inmates.” The article cited two of Dr. Michael Gordon’s ongoing National Institute on Drug Abuse funded studies: (1) Long-acting naltrexone for pre-release prisoners: A randomized trial of mobile treatment; and (2) Buprenorphine for probationers and parolees: Bridging the gap into treatment. Both of these innovative randomized controlled trials are working with justice-involved individuals with opioid use disorder.

View the Baltimore Sun Article.

Thomas R. Blue

Dr. Blue Receives Promotion to Research Scientist

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas R. Blue has been promoted from an Assistant Research Scientist to a Research Scientist, effective July 17, 2019. Since joining FRI in 2017, Dr. Blue has performed several secondary analyses of research data including analyses of arrest outcomes (now published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence) and HIV risk behaviors (manuscript under review) of participants in a randomized controlled trial of buprenorphine for prisoners. Additionally he has helped author multiple grant applications to NIH including one for the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), which FRI was recently awarded. As part of this project he will serve as Co-Investigator, study statistician, and data manager for an equivalence trial of extended release naltrexone and extended release buprenorphine for individuals incarcerated throughout Maryland. Dr. Blue’s main interests include experimental design (including sample size determination) and the evaluation of both experimental and non-experimental data, especially data structured hierarchically and/or longitudinally. He hopes to continue learning more about statistical design and analysis to assist future FRI research efforts and to apply this knowledge to research efforts of his own that include using data driven methods to design and test interventions for justice-involved individuals suffering from opioid use disorders. FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Blue on this notable achievement and wishes him a prosperous career with the organization.

FRI Welcomes New Senior Research Scientist

MAXINE L. STITZER, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,  Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Stitzer was a founding faculty member of the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, a nationally recognized substance abuse research laboratory within the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research interests during a successful 40+ year career focused on both pharmacological and behavioral approaches to the treatment of substance use disorders including opioid, stimulant and tobacco use disorders. She is best known for her pioneering work on Contingency Management in substance abuse treatment, an approach designed to enhance motivation for positive behavior change.  In collaboration with our own Robert Schwartz, she has also provided leadership at Hopkins of the Mid Atlantic Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN), in which multi-site clinical trials are conducted that test the effectiveness of substance abuse treatments implemented in community settings.  Her research overall has advanced the understanding of substance use disorders and promoted adoption of evidence-based treatments into clinical practice.  Following official retirement from Hopkins in February of 2019, she accepted a part time appointment with FRI in order to continue her involvement in the CTN as well as other projects

Dr. Mary Moser Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell Receives Promotion to Research Scientist

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Mary Mitchell has been promoted from an Assistant Research Scientist to a Research Scientist, effective January, 2019. Dr. Mitchell joined FRI in September 2017. Since that time, she has contributed to a number of studies conducted at FRI while pursuing her own research. She will be serving as the Site Principal Investigator on the NIDA Clinical Trials Network Subthreshold Opioid Use Disorder Prevention (STOP) Trial. Dr. Mitchell is contributing to a variety of FRI projects including an Arnold Venture-funded evidence-based review of substance use disorder treatment. This review will be made available to US States to inform their use of the State Opioid Restitution Funding. Her recently published peer-reviewed articles have included a study examining longitudinal trends in blood alcohol content among patients treated for alcohol use disorder via a novel telemedicine intervention, and a study investigating HIV risk behaviors among pre-trial detainees in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Mitchell plans to continue applying advanced statistical techniques to study a variety of topics in substance use, especially longitudinal studies of cannabis use in pregnant and postpartum women and treatment outcomes for people with opioid use disorder. FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Mitchell on this notable achievement and wishes her a productive career with Friends.

Thomas R. Blue

Dr. Thomas Blue Awarded Second Junior Investigator Scholarship

Dr. Thomas Blue has been awarded a Junior Investigator scholarship by the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health to attend their conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada in March of 2019. The award will provide support for travel expenses and cover the costs of registration and lodging. Dr. Blue is planning to present preliminary findings gathered from a long-term follow-up of criminal justice involved persons who had refused to receive rapid HIV testing in an earlier parent study.

See also Dr. Thomas Blue Awarded Junior Investigator Scholarship.

Dr. Monico Receives Promotion to Research Scientist

FRI is pleased to announce that Dr. Laura Monico has been promoted from an Assistant Research Scientist to a Research Scientist, effective September 1, 2018. Since joining FRI in 2014, Dr. Monico has primarily worked on three NIDA-funded studies that investigate various dimensions of pharmacotherapy and has authored publications from several more. Over the past 2 ½ years, Dr. Monico has led the day-to-day project management on two multi-million dollar research projects, including a multi-state trial. In addition to her tasks assisting the Principal Investigator, Dr. Monico manages and mentors junior research staff. Her skills in both quantitative and qualitative data analyses have been evident in her peer reviewed publications and she has presented her work annually at national scientific conferences. Dr. Monico has also submitted grant applications to the National Institutes of Health to obtain independent research funding. FRI would like to congratulate Dr. Monico on this notable achievement and wishes her a prosperous career with the organization.

Dr. Robert P. Schwartz

New Adult Substance Use Screening Tool Available

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has made available a new tool designed to screen adult primary care patients for substance misuse and substance use disorder. Dr. Robert Schwartz served as Lead Investigator of a NIDA Clinical Trials Network study of the Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription medication, and other Substance use (TAPS) Tool. The TAPS Tool is available on the NIDA website https://www.drugabuse.gov/taps/#/.

Jan Gryczynski, Ph.D.

Dr. Jan Gryczynski Receives Award

FRI is proud to announce that Dr. Jan Gryczynski received the Most Reviewed Articles award from the Journal of Addiction Medicine for peer reviewing six papers for the Journal in 2017. Click here to see article.