For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2004

Wright State Awarded $3.5 M Grant to Study
Substance Abuse, Disability, and Employment

DAYTON, OHIO-The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded a five-year, $3.5 million grant to create a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at Wright State University School of Medicine.

This training center will investigate methods for improving identification and treatment of substance abuse among persons with disabilities and to provide treatment that will lead to gainful employment by them. Persons with disabilities are especially vulnerable to substance abuse, which, more than a physical or mental disability, is often the major reason they are unable to work.

The training center will work both locally and nationally towards these goals:

1) Develop a substance abuse screening instrument, primarily for state vocational rehabilitation programs, which serve more than 500,000 persons annually;

2) Conduct a clinical trial of a model for employment of persons who have a disability in addition to substance abuse;

3) Examine the policy differences among nine state-wide vocational rehabilitation programs;

4) Investigate why many cases in vocational rehabilitation programs are unsuccessful. Research at Wright State has shown that unsuccessful closures in the vocational rehabilitation system cost the American public one-half billion dollars each year.

Dennis Moore, Ed.D, associate professor of community health in the Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research, has been named principal investigator for the training center. The Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research, headed by Harvey Siegal, Ph.D., professor of community health, is nationally recognized for substance abuse research.

Moore is considered one of the leading experts in the country on substance abuse among persons with disabilities. "We are very excited about receiving this research award," he says," as it will allow us to conduct cutting edge studies to address social problems that are very costly in dollars and in human lives. I'm particularly pleased that we have so much depth of research experience among our collaborators and partner organizations."

Local organizations participating in this research will include the Consumer Advocacy Model (CAM), a local alcohol and drug treatment program, the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, Goodwill Industries of the Miami Valley, and Wilberforce University. Other scientists and clinicians participating in the research come from the College of Medicine and Public Health at The Ohio State University, Dartmouth Medical School, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

The new Rehabilitation Research and Training Center will also provide training materials for rehabilitation professionals, use electronic formats to more quickly transfer research findings into training programs, and encourage minority students to enter the field of rehabilitation as a career option.