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Bringing the Latest to Addiction Treatment and Recovery

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Bringing the Latest to Addiction Treatment and Recovery

AUSTIN, Texas — Social work researchers at The University of Texas at Austin hope to speed up adoption of new therapies and tools to fight addiction with a major grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Alcohol and drug addiction disorders are complex and difficult to treat, requiring development and testing of treatments through rigorous scientific research. Once treatments have proved to be effective and acceptable to consumers, moving them into clinical practice is a slow process that can take more than a decade.

Social work researchers at UT Austin are helping to speed up this process through a $3.9 million grant from the SAMHSA. With these funds, researchers will bring the latest therapies and technological enhancements — including web-based support, interactive voice response and video games — to addiction treatment programs in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas.

“This grant will allow us to provide technical assistance, education and training to more than 10,000 people over the next five years,” said Richard Spence, a social work professor and director of the South Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center.

Under the leadership of Spence and co-director Philip Orrick, the center will also work with colleges and universities throughout the five-state region to recruit and assist a diverse pool of students seeking to become qualified substance abuse counselors, with a special focus on African American, Mexican American and American Indian students.

The South Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center was created in 1993, when SAMHSA funded centers of this kind in universities throughout the country. The UT Austin School of Social Work hosts the only university center that has been awarded the competitive SAMHSA renewal grant for the sixth consecutive time.

source: The University of Texas at Austin

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