Universities receive grant for assisting African-American communities

The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), an organization working to find solutions to the opioid crisis, recently awarded a grant of more than $550,000 to Michigan State University and the University of Maryland College Park.

Funds will be used to improve access to opioid-use-disorder treatment for African-American adults in Detroit and Baltimore who are low-income and uninsured.

The universities have partnered to participate in FORE’s initiative to improve access to lifesaving treatment for opioid-use disorder.

“We are pleased to partner with FORE to examine a novel approach to engaging and retaining individuals from underserved communities who require treatment for opioid use disorder,” Dr. Julia Felton, assistant professor and clinical psychologist at Michigan State Division of Public Health, College of Human Medicine, said. “This funding supports critical research to develop a sustainable model for training peer recovery coaches to improve outcomes and promote the recovery process among this vulnerable population.”

The universities’ project uses peer recovery coaches to promote adherence to opioid use disorder treatment medications.

African-Americans have much lower rates of opioid-use disorder-treatment, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report.

Building social connections and support is a significant part of the recovery process, but maintaining a recovery routine is difficult for people with opioid use disorder.