Substance Use Research & Education Center

The UNM College of Pharmacy's Substance Use Research & Education (SURE) Center in Albuquerque serves as a hub for scholarship, education and professional service activities involving the use and misuse of alcohol and prescription and nonprescription drugs.

The SURE Center is directed by Dr. Ludmila Bakhireva, a professor at the Pharmacy Practice & Administrative Science Department. Bakhireva is leading the center's current research projects that include faculty from the College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and the School of Medicine's departments of Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

Photo of the Sure Center Team

Substance Use Research and Education (SURE) Center team from left to right: Maya Ma, Dr. Kathryn Beauchamp, Aydan Sparks, Dr. Melissa Roberts, Dr. Sharon Ruyak, Talia Padawer, Dr. Ludmila Bakhireva, Britt Parrish, Lidia Enriquez Marquez, Dr. Jose Perez, Dominique Rodriguez, Stephanie Chambers, Laura Stacy, Jeremy Armijo.

Center Goals

  • Coordinate and improve training in the substance use disorder (SUD), overdose prevention, community education in the PharmD curriculum (core and elective, outreach activities, certification programs). Ensure horizontal and vertical integration of SUD-related themes throughout PharmD curriculum.
  • Develop preclinical, translational and clinical research programs focusing on SUD
  • Develop partnerships and pursue collaborative multi-disciplinary projects with key stakeholders at the state and national level. 
  • Serve as a platform for junior investigators and support mentored research activities in the area of SUD research.
  • Serve as a platform for targeted outreach and education activities throughout the state
  • Facilitate or establish effective partnerships between the Center and communities throughout New Mexico.

Current Projects

  • Ethanol, Neurodevelopment, Infant and Child Health (ENRICH-2) study
  • Placenta-mediated Functional Response to Prenatal Opioid Exposure

The SURE Center is also an active partner with the NIDA Southwest Clinical Trial Node and ongoing multicenter clinical trials.

Local and National Partners 

The SURE Center is leading a number of professional service/outreach activities, including the "CONSIDER New Mexico" program, which provides naloxone training to community pharmacists throughout the state.

The SURE Center is an active partner with the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded Southwestern Clinical Trials Node, and HEAL, an acronym for Helping to End Addiction Long-term initiative, a National Institutes of Health aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis.

Current research projects within the center incorporate faculty from:

  • The UNM College of Pharmacy,
  • College of Nursing,
  • School of Medicine (i.e., Departments of Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry)
  • Other UNM centers, such as
    • Center for Developmental Disabilities
    • Prevention Research Center
    • Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA)
    • Clinical and Translational Sciences Center
    • Brain and Behavioral Health Institute (BBHI)

The SURE center supports mentored research activities in the area of substance use disorders research and is committed to training and mentorship of the next generation of pharmacists and scientists.

Contact Us

For more information, contact Ludmila Bakhireva, the center director, or send an email to or call 505-272-5857.