Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis Prevention in urban Native Americans

Principal Investigator: Diana H. Caldwell, Ph.D.
Project Director: Jan Gryczynski, M.A.
Funded By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Grant #: SP 133321
Total Project Period: 10/05 – 9/10

Now, and for many decades, drug and alcohol use and abuse problems have continued to occur in Native American communities. More recently, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis have appeared in all but a few of these communities. Along with the frustration, pain, and senseless deaths that result from these problems, Native Americans must struggle with treating and preventing a problem that doesn’t seem to fit within their own traditional healing systems. This study seeks to build a foundation for delivering and sustaining effective and culturally relevant services to prevent and reduce the onset of substance abuse (SA), and transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis among urban Native Americans and Native American reentry populations in Baltimore, MD. The overall purpose of this project is to implement a culturally responsive SA/HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis program that will increase and sustain service capacity to Native Americans in order to address SA, HIV, and hepatitis problems. The increases in service capacity are designed to: (1) build skills and knowledge; (2) promote new peer group norms of preventive communications and behaviors; and (3) help sustain new health promoting habits. Using the Strategic Prevention Framework as a model to develop culturally relevant service capacity specifically for urban Native Americans, the five goals of the project are to: (1) Conduct a community needs assessment; (2) Mobilize and build capacity to address SA/HIV and hepatitis prevention needs; (3) Develop a comprehensive strategic plan; (4) Implement evidence based prevention programs and infrastructure development activities; and, (5) Assess program effectiveness. Service capacity will be enhanced through partnership with an urban Native American program, LifeLines Foundation that serves substance abusing Native Americans in Maryland. Through this partnership, we will develop workgroups that provide syntheses of state and local indicator data specifically on Native Americans; select culturally appropriate evidence based programs; and, utilize culturally appropriate evaluations. Culturally competent Native American evaluations will work in partnership with the local community utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodology that will serve the purposes of on-going monitoring and evaluation in order to assess program effectiveness, ensure service delivery quality, identify successes, encourage needed improvement, and promote sustainability of effective policies, programs, and practices.