Friends Research Institute (FRI) was recently awarded a highly coveted challenge research grant funded through the National Institute on Drug Abuse from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The nearly $1,000,000 grant award will support the work of ten research staff as well as the work of three clinics in conducting the study.
This highly competitive award will be led by Dr. Shannon Gwin Mitchell, a community psychologist and research scientist at FRI. Dr. Mitchell has spent the last three years leading the ethnographic component of a longitudinal study examining factors affecting methadone treatment entry and engagement. Prior to her work with FRI, she was at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University where she conducted qualitative research for several HIV risk reduction and peer support interventions with injection drug users.
Dr. Jerome H. Jaffe, an internationally-known expert in addictions, will work closely with Dr. Mitchell on this newly funded study, which will compare the relative effectiveness of intensive outpatient v. standard outpatient counseling when combined with buprenorphine for heroin-dependent African Americans. It will shed light on the important question of what is the appropriate amount of counseling to provide along with medication for opioid addiction.