Addiction Center Research


ABCD-USA Consortium: Research Project: NIDA, U01 DA041106-03, Contact PI: Mary Heitzeg, PhD, Co-I: Robert Zucker, PhD

This Research Project focuses on risk and protective factors influencing trajectories of substance use and associated behaviors. Our emphasis is on: externalizing and internalizing phenotypes, both as core nonspecific risk factors for problem substance use and as important co-occurring outcomes of substance use; contextual factors (including sociodemographic, family and social influences) as risk and protective influences on the co-development of brain, substance use and psychopathology; and sex as a moderator of these relationships. Learn more.

Adaptive Interventions to Reduce Risky Drinking and Violent Behaviors among Adolescents: NIH/NIAAA R01 AA024755, Multiple PI: Maureen Walton, MPH, Phd & Rebecca Cunningham, PhD

Sequential, multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) designs provide an innovative methodology to compare the efficacy of just-in-time adaptive interventions (AI) based on response/non-response. This study will compare technology-enhanced interventions (text messages, remote video health coach) on reducing alcohol misuse and violent behavior among adolescents in the emergency department. 

Cannabis Use and Health among VHA Primary Care Patients: VA HSR&D IIR 15-348, PI: Kipling Bohnert, PhD, Co-I: Frederic Blow, PhD, Co-I: Mark Ilgen, PhD

This study screens Veterans receiving primary care at 3 VAMCs in Michigan. This will be the furst study to characterize and understand patterns of cannabis use and how they relate to health, functioning, and service utilization among VHA primary care patients. The focus on trajectories of cannabis use and related problems is important, and in characterizing and examining factors associated with these trajectories, the project can help inform the discussion regarding for whom and under what conditions cannabis use might be associated with fewer or greater negative outcomes. 

Developmental and peer effects on the neurobiology of cognitive control and reward processes: R01 AA024433, Multiple PI: Brian Hicks, PhD & Mary Heitzeg, PhD

The purpose of this grant is to examine the development of the neurobiological processes of the reward and cognitive control networks, peer effects on these networks, and how these neurobiological and contextual processes contribute to risk-taking and alcohol and drug use problems in adolescence using a longitudinal fMRI study. 

Developing a Prescription Opioid Overdose Prevention Intervention: NIH/NIDA R34DA035331, PI: Amy Bohnert, PhD, Co-I: Frederic Blow, PhD                                                         

The purpose of this project is to refine a three session brief intervention focused on reducing personal overdose risk and improving response to witnessed overdoses among individuals in substance use disorder treatment reporting recent non-medical prescription opioid use. Study findings will inform a full-scale randomized controlled trial of an intervention with the potential to reduce overdose mortality associated with prescription opioid use.

Drug Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Emerging Adults in the ER: NIDA/NIH K23DA036008-05, PI: Erin Bonar, PhD

This project will develop a technology-augmented HIV and substance use risk reduction intervention for delivery in the ED, a medical setting where at-risk emerging adults who use drugs and engage in HIV-related risk behaviors are likely to present. An effective intervention could lead to reductions in substance use (including injection drug use, a mode of HIV transmission), engagement in HIV-related sexual risk behaviors, and the overall incidence of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections among emerging adults, who comprise a large proportion of new HIV infections annually.

Early Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Misuse and Abuse in the Ohio Army National Guard (ONG): DoD/USAMRMC W81XWH-14-2-0007, PI: Frederic Blow, PhD, Co-I: Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD

The proposed randomized controlled trial will test a smartphone APP focusing on alcohol risk reduction, as compared to a control condition, for ONG members meeting criteria for risky drinking. The state-of-the-art APP is Android and iOS compatible, enhancing likelihood of future translation. 

Facilitating use of the Veterans Crisis Line in High-Risk Patients: IIR 14-103-2, PI: Mark Ilgen, PhD

The objectives of this randomized controlled trial are to: (a) test the impact of CLF on Veterans Crisis Line utilization, as well as outpatient mental health treatment utilization, (b) test the effect of CLF on likelihood of future suicide attempts, (c) test the extent to which post-baseline use of the Veterans Crisis Line mediates the effect of CLF on suicidal behaviors, and (d) understand barriers and facilitators of implementation of CLF, based on qualitative interviews with treatment providers and at-risk Veterans. 

Family Study of Risk for Alcoholism over the Life Course: NIAAA R01 AA007065-30, PI: Robert Zucker, PhD, Co-I: Mary Heitzeg, PhD

This prospective high-risk family study, the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS) began 27 years ago to characterize the development of risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD) among children (2nd generation or G2s) beginning prior to school entry, with the aims to detect whether risk markers of later disorder could be identified very early, to characterize the evolution of identified risk factors over the course of childhood and early adulthood, and to identify mediators and moderators of risk development that could guide prevention or early intervention programming. Learn more.

Heroin use and overdose following changes to individual-level opioid prescribing : NNCIPC/NIH U01CE002780-01, PI: Amy Bohnert, PhD

Using analysis of medical records for over 50 million Americans and in-depth interviews with patients, this study will seek to inform prevention efforts by examining the association between individual-level opioid prescribing patterns in particular tapering or discontinuation of opioids and the risk of heroin use and overdose.

Impulsivity as Immaturity: Mapping Dysmaturation of the Brains Control Architecture in Youth Externalizing: NIH/NIMH R01 MH107741, Co-I: Mary Heitzeg

This project uses neuroimaging of a youth sample to map the development of key components of the brain's regulatory control architecture. We will use these maps to develop a new class of neuromarkers for impulsivity in externalizing disorders.

Intervening to Reduce Suicide Risk in Veterans with Substance Use Disorders: DoD/USAMRMC W81XWH-14-1-0005, PI: Mark Ilgen, PhD, Co-I: Frederic C. Blow, PhD 

Military and active duty soldiers with SUDs are at clear elevated risk for suicide but, currently, no clear interventions exist to decrease risk of suicide in these individuals. This study will provide a first-of-its-kind evaluation of the impact of a CBT intervention to reduce risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors for Veterans with SUDs who are at elevated risk for suicide.

Improving outcomes for emergency patients with alcohol problems: VAHSR&D IIR 09-333-2, PI: Frederic Blow, PhD, Co-I: Maureen Walton, PhD                                                                               

The objective of this proposed study is to conduct a hybrid randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of an alcohol intervention starting in the ED with peer-delivered brief alcohol advice, combined with a continuing 6-session program of post-ED strengths-based peer mentorship to facilitate reduction in hazardous drinking, and engagement in primary and/or specialty alcohol treatment services care.  Role: Co-Investigator

Medical marijuana: Longitudinal trajectories in use, pain and functioning: NIH/NIDA R01DA033397, PI: Mark Ilgen, PhD, Co-I: Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD                                                          

With the ongoing policy debate and the growing popularity of medical marijuana programs in the United States, it is essential to understand the ramifications of medical marijuana use for individuals who seek access to it. The proposed study will identify a cohort of 800 individuals who are seeking to obtain medical marijuana and examine their substance use (marijuana and other drug use), pain (pain level and behavioral pain tolerance), HIV risk profile, functioning (mental, physical, employment, and legal functioning), and health service use over the course of two years. The resulting data will inform the debate surrounding medical marijuana use and could help shape strategies to identify and intervene with individuals at risk for problems related to substance use.

Measurement and Methodology for Daily Patterns of Drug Use and Related Behaviors: NIH/NIDA R01 DA035183, Multiple PI: Rebecca Cunningham, PhD, Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD, Anne Buu, PhD

This study will develop cutting-edge methodology with free software to collect and analyze daily report of drug use, alcohol use, violence, and HIV/sexual risk. The proposed work will provide tools to identify at risk youth, target problematic behavior patterns in intervention, and monitor progress of behavior changes over time.

Multidisciplinary Alcoholism Research Training Program: NIH/NIAAA T32AA007477, PI: Frederic Blow, PhD

The purpose of this grant application is to train and equip the next generation of scientific researchers who are interested in understanding and ameliorating the costs, causes, and consequences of alcohol-related problems.

Neural Circuitry of Shared Vulnerability to Both PTSD and Addiction: NIDA/NIH K08DA037912-04, PI: Jonathan Morrow, PhD

The research project focuses on identifying common neurobiological substrates that confer vulnerability both to addiction and to frequently co-occurring disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. This will be accomplished by identifying neural circuits responsible for generating excessive emotional and motivational responses to both appetitive and aversive conditioned cues. 

Optimizing Treatment Response in VA Specialized Intensive/Inpatient PTSD programs: VA HSR&D CDA 15-251, PI: Rebecca Sripada, PhD, Co-I, Frederic Blow, PhD

The goal of this CDA is to optimize PTSD care by identifying individual- and program-level factors associated with poor treatment response in residential programs. Aim 1 will identify individual- and program-level predictors of treatment response in residential programs nationwide. Aim 2 will further elucidate factors associated with poor PTSD treatment response, using a qualitative approach with patient, provider, and administrator interviews to provide additional perspectives and identify relevant site-level factors. Aim 3 will pilot an adaptation of an existing treatment or health services intervention based on findings from the initial study aims and data on treatment practices at high-performing sites. 

Precision Medicine in Mental Health Care (PRIME Care): VAHSR&D SDR 16-348 Site PI: Frederic Blow, PhD

The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of providing depressed Veterans and their providers the results of pharmacogenetic testing for psychotropic medications. The study focuses on whether and how patients and providers use genetic test results given to them at the time an antidepressant is to be initiated to treat Major Depressive Disorder and whether use of the test results improves patient outcomes.

Preventing Alcohol/Prescribed Drug Misuse in the National Guard: Web and Peer BI: NIAAA / DoD R01AA023122, PI: Frederic Blow, PhD, Co-I: Maureen Walton, MPH, PHD            

National Guard members, especially those who have been combat-deployed, are at high risk for developing alcohol- and prescription-related drug problems. This randomized controlled study uses novel Web-based interventions combined with either Web-based boosters or Peer support sessions, compared to usual care.       

Primary Care Intervention to Reduce Prescription Opioid Overdoses: Prescription Opioid Safety Trial (POST): VA HSR&D IIR 13-322, PI: Amy Bohnert, PhD, Co-I: Frederic Blow, PhD, Co-I: Mark, Ilgen, Phd

This is a pragmatic trial of an intervention to promote safe opioid use among Veterans in primary care receiving chronic opioid therapy at dosages above 50 morphine equivalent milligrams per day. The intervention will be compared to an enhanced usual care condition. Both conditions will cover the VHA’s long-term opioid informed consent documents and be delivered by master’s level therapists. The intervention will use a motivational style and be tailored to patient’s specific concerns and needs regarding their opioid use and pain management.   

Psychosocial Pain Management during Addictions Treatment to Improve Outcomes: NIH/NIDA R01DA029587, PI: Mark Ilgen, PhD, Co-I: Kristen Barry, PhD                                                      

This randomized control trial is designed to determine the efficacy of a group based cognitive-behavioral pain management intervention in comparison to a Supportive Psychoeducation Control (SPC) group in individuals with co-oient’s specific concerns and needs regarding their opioid use and pain management.   

Role: Principal Investigatorccurring pain and substance use disorders recruited at the start of residential treatment program.

Reducing Non-Medical Opioid Use: An automatically adaptive mHealth Intervention: NIH R01DA039159-02, PI: Amy Bohnert, PhD, Co-I: Mark Ilgen, PhD

The first phase of this study will aim to develop a reinforcement learning (i.e., artificial intelligence) behavioral intervention delivered via interactive voice response with the goal of reducing non-medical opioid use among individuals identified at the UM emergency department (ED) as leaving the ED with a prescription opioid for pain and with recent non-medical opioid use. The second phase of this study will be to conduct a phase-III clinical trial of the intervention compared to an enhanced usual care condition with 600 ED patients. This study will also involve focus groups of patients and ED clinicians in order to understand issues related to implementation of the intervention.

Sex differences in the neural mechanisms of brief interventions for binge drinking. NIAA/NIH K01AA024804-02, PI: Jillian Hardee, PhD

This grant will investigate how sex differences moderate the neural trajectories involved in risky drinking, and what effect brief interventions have on these trajectories. Accomplishment of these two objectives will address the need for basic scientists pursuing translational research, and will answer fundamental questions regarding the impact of individual differences on the neurobiology of addiction and mechanisms of behavioral change. Findings will have implications for guiding future prevention and treatment strategies based on sex.

Social Media Interventions to Reduce Risky Drinking among Emerging Adults: NIH/NIAAA R01 085678, PI: Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD, Co-I: Frederic Blow, PhD

The proposed study will recruit adolescents and emerging adults (ages 16-24) using Facebook ads, and conduct online e-screening, enrolling 850 risky drinkers, who screen positive on the AUDIT-C, in a randomized controlled trial comparing three 8-week conditions: Social Media Intervention + Diffusion Incentives [i.e., gamification involving incentives]; Social Media Intervention Only, or e-news control condition.

Sleep Physiology and Risk for Alcohol Problems in Children of Alcoholics: NIH/NIAAA R01AA020364-05, Co-I UM: Kirk Brower, PhD

This is a longitudinal study on sleep patterns, architecture, and regulation in alcohol-dependent parents and controls. This study examines the relationships between sleep physiology and risk for alcohol problems in biological children of an alcohol-dependent parent and controls. Results of the study will lead to practical information on the relationship between sleep problems and the development of alcohol use disorders, for which preventive interventions can be tailored.

Training Geriatric Mental Health Services Researchers: NIH/NIMH T32MH073553, PI: Frederic C. Blow

This training program responds to a nationally recognized urgent need to develop new researchers who have the necessary skills to inform the development, dissemination, and implementation of future mental health and substance abuse services for a rapidly growing older population.

University of Michigan Injury Center (UMIC) R49 CE002099-S, PI: Rebecca Cunningham, PhD, Co-I (Associate Director of UMIC; co-Director of Research for the UMIC): Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD         

This 2-year supplements continues to fund the MI Injury Center, which will provide the framework for a coordinated and collaborative injury prevention agenda serving MI with active reach throughout the Great Lakes Region through 3 cores: Research (Walton co-director), Education, and Outreach. 

VA Healthcare Delivery for OEF/OIF Veterans with Mental & Substance Use Disorders: VA HSR&D CDA 11-245, PI: Kipling Bohnert, PhD, Co-I, Frederic Blow, PhD

The purpose of this project is to provide critical and timely evidence to fill in the existing gaps regarding treatment initiation and engagement among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with PTSD in VHA. The specific aims of the research are: (1) to identify patient and provider factors associated with timely treatment initiation and continued engagement among all OEF/OIF/OND Veterans in VHA care who receive positive PTSD screens and are diagnosed with the condition; (2) to further elucidate patient factors associated with timely initiation and continued engagement in PTSD treatment using a qualitative approach with provider and Veteran patient focus groups; (3) to build on the two prior aims by developing and piloting a theory-based intervention to increase initiation and engagement in PTSD treatment among Veterans with PTSD; and (4) to identify important facility factors and variation associated with timely treatment initiation and engagement in order to inform future implementation efforts.