DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
The University of Houston Drug Abuse Research Development Program (UHDARDP) will increase the capacity of minority faculty and graduate students from the University of Houston (UH) to conduct competitive research on drug abuse. This will be accomplished through the development of a multidisciplinary infrastructure that focus on long-term health and social consequences of injecting heroin use among aging Mexican American males. The research will have implications for drug abuse prevention, intervention, and service theory and practice. Specific aims include: 1) Establish an institutional research development plan to build the capacity to engage in competitive drug research by coalescing resources, leadership, management, and research expertise; 2) Provide a structure for the conceptual, methodological and statistical support to develop minority project directors and graduate students; 3) Execute a multidisciplinary research program consisting of a primary research project and two pilot projects; 4) Recruit other minority project directors and graduate students from UH to develop studies on the health, social, pharmacological and psychological consequences of drug abuse among the target population and provide research experience and scientific information to the community; 5) Bridge the gap between the social and pharmacy sciences in the fields of basic and applied research, and service delivery systems through the development of multidisciplinary translational research courses, curricula and workshops on drug abuse; and 6) Recruit a team of internal and external mentors and consultants from interdisciplinary academic backgrounds to enhance UHDARDPs professional development activities and proposed scientific programs. An organizational infrastructure of complimentary core activities is proposed: Institutional Research Development Plan, Faculty/Project Directors Development Plan, Primary and Pilot Research Projects and a Student Development Plan. The research projects will use a sample of three comparison groups of aging Mexican American heroin users (former in treatment, former not in treatment and current IDU) recruited for the primary research project (N=225). The primary research project examines the drug career, family trajectories and maturing out process in this population in relation to multiple health outcomes and social capital mediators. The first pilot will develop a population pharmacokinetic model to describe and predict the disposition of gentamicin in this population (N=50). The second pilot will use a "network facilitation" model and focus on the extent to which social networks facilitate (or impede) injecting drug use and related risk behaviors (N=60).