Research

Pathways to Addiction

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Pathways to Addiction: Prevention and Treatment

Evidence-based programs and practices across the lifecycle of the disease from primary prevention to treatment and sustained recovery.

Drugs of Abuse and Learned Aversions: Solving a Paradox is research study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that uses animal models to examine shifts from reward to aversion following pairings of taste cues with opportunities to self-administer cocaine, and to determine whether taste reactivity behaviors are related to drug-seeking, drug-taking, withdrawal, and other indices of addiction. [PI: Patricia ‘Sue’ Grigson]

The PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) Project, funded since 2001 primarily by NIDA, has documented the effectiveness of a community-engaged system for delivering evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs via Penn State Cooperative Extension. [PI: Janet Welsh]

Therapeutic Use of Cannabinoids for Chronic Pain is a research study funded by NIDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Health as part of the Commonwealth Universal Enhancement Program (CURE) awarded from tobacco settlement funds. [PI: Daniel Morgan]

Affordable Brain Imaging for Treating Addiction, a research study supported by the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), is investigating an objective, brain-based measure to predict treatment outcomes in prescription opioid use disorder. [PI: Scott Bunce]

WearIT is a system that uses wearable devices and smartphones as tools to help individuals battle addiction. WearIT detects when a patient is having cravings, offers in-the-moment intervention strategies to the patient, and collects additional data to provide to others involved in the patient’s recovery. [PIs: Timothy Brick and Zita Oravecz]

Understanding the Individual and Social Network Characteristics of Opiate Users in Rural Pennsylvania is a pilot project funded by the Penn State Criminal Justice Research Center to explore the individual, community, and peer network characteristics of those who use opioids in rural Pennsylvania. [PI: Ashton Verdery]

Projects Funded by Social Science Research Institute Seed Grants as part of Penn State’s Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse:

  • ‘Alexa, I’m in pain!’ A Real-Time Mindfulness Intervention to Control Pain: Delivery Through a Conversational Agent will leverage the Amazon Alexa ecosystem to develop an interactive, personalized virtual coach for delivery of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction practices. [PIs: Saeed Abdullah and Stephanie Lanza]
  • Neural Mediators and Moderators of Mindful Yoga Practice in Opiate-Dependent Individuals will consider the neurocognitive mediators and moderators of the impact of a yoga practice incorporating mindfulness in Opioid Use Disorder Medication-Assisted Therapy in rural Pennsylvania. [PI: Emma Rose]
  • The Influence of Adolescent Social Stress on Morphine Behaviors aims to determine if chronic adolescent social stress alters morphine behavioral responses and if this relationship is influenced by genetics. [PI: Helen Kamens]
  • PROSPER PLUS: Combining Effective Prevention Education with Supply Side Interventions to Reduce Opioid Misuse will lay the groundwork for a large trial comparing the relative efficacy of the PROSPER prevention system alone versus in conjunction with community Drug Take Back Boxes designed to reduce the supply of prescription drugs in communities. [PI: Janet Welsh]