Read about the staff for this project here.

Partnerships to Reduce Disparities in Substance Use Screening and Treatment Project

Background:  Alcohol and opiate use problems affect communities throughout New Mexico.  Unfortunately, Hispanic and American Indian populations suffer more from AUDs/OUDs.  It is often difficult for people to find the appropriate help they need to deal with alcohol and opiate use. 

One approach to addressing these problems is through the primary health care setting where healthcare providers can screen and begin to offer treatment for AUDs/OUDs.  While many people regularly see a primary health care provider, research shows that screening and treatment is not widely performed during these visits. 

Our Project:  In order to help people have better access to treatment options in their communities we have developed a project to answer the following questions:

  • What are primary care practices currently doing to screen for and treat AUDs/OUDs?
  • What makes screening and treatment of AUDs/OUDs difficult or more possible in primary care settings?

The Goal of this project is to use what we learn and work with primary care practices within New Mexican communities to develop ways to improve the delivery of screening and treatment services. These approaches will be flexible and take into account different cultural views about appropriate ways to address these problems.

What our Project Involves:

  1. Survey primary care providers that serve Hispanic and American Indian communities throughout New Mexico about their current AUD/OUD practices
  2. Complete up to 12 case studies in selected primary care practices to explore in detail the current situation for screening and treatment of AUDs/OUDs and identify challenges to improve these services
  3. Engage community members and substance use service providers throughout the State to ensure that we gather a full range of views about these problems and community-based solutions
  4. Based on the initial findings, develop and implement two pilot projects in primary care practices aimed at improving screening and treatment for AUDs/OUDs

Funding for the Project:  This project is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  The project is funded for 5 years and is based at the Health Sciences Center at the University of New Mexico.

Contact Information:  If you have any questions about this project or would like more information, please contact Andrew Sussman, PhD, MCRP at; 505-272-2165 or Jacque Garcia at