Faculty Corner: Adolescent Substance Abuse

Psych faculty member, Dr. Rachel Castaneda has received several grants to study why adolescents use drugs and how to implement interventions to get them to quit. She’s developed a faith-integrated Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) online training course, which is being rolled out now!

Her latest research involves two large grants from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aimed at enhancing healthcare providers’ ability to address substance use disorders (SUDs) and HIV risk behaviors.

The first grant, Dr. Castaneda will be collaborating with the School of Nursing and co-director, Dr. Lynda Reed, to enhance the curriculum and training protocols for nurse practitioner (NP) students and field preceptors at community sites in the use of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders.

The second grant, titled “Project Wellness is a five-year collaborative effort with two community-based organizations. This grant will aim to improve access to substance use and HIV risk integrated services among racial/ethnic youth ages 13-24 using a peer navigator approach. Both grants are expected to have significant impacts on the way SUDs are viewed and treated in local communities.