Department of Higher Education Awards Research Incentive Funding for Addiction Research

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2020-01-27) — Four universities and a children’s hospital will receive Research Incentive funding from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to conduct research regarding substance use disorders in Ohio.

Campuses receiving funding are Cleveland State University, Wright State University, Bowling Green State University, and Case Western Reserve University. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will also receive a share of the funds.

The funding was allocated as part of a provision in House Bill 166, which gives ODHE the authority to use the funds to advance collaborative research in specified research areas. Awardees are chosen through a third-party, independent review process that is undertaken to objectively evaluate proposals through an RFP process. ODHE may award up to $1 million in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to support research of substance abuse issues.

“RecoveryOhio’s Initial Report stressed the importance of data and research-based outcomes to inform decisions about treatment, recovery support, and prevention of substance use disorder,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “This research will help us better meet the needs of Ohioans at risk and recovering from substance use disorders for years to come.”

“I’m pleased to announce these awards to help address a critical issue in Ohio,” ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “Addiction affects not only the users, but also their families, their employers, and our state. I am encouraged by the work that our campuses and Nationwide Children’s will be doing to address this important topic.”

Funding awarded and project details are as follows:

.Cleveland State University – $252,819 to research patient-specific risk patterns for substance use disorder and withdrawal in real time. CSU will work to develop a cellphone application and automated statistical algorithms to identify person-specific risk factors and patterns for sobriety lapses for individuals completing an outpatient treatment program. Additional CSU research will inform treatment care providers of their patients’ status on treatment outcomes.

.Wright State University – $442,741 to train primary care providers in a prescription-tapering protocol known as PRESTO (PRomoting Engagement for Safe Tapering of Opioids). Wright State will recruit 150 primary care providers for training, which includes CSC opioid-prescribing guidelines, the Ohio prescription drug monitoring program, and motivational interview techniques. The study will compare prescribing patterns eight months prior to training and eight months after training, as well as results. The goal is to validate the PRESTO approach as an effective way to reduce the risk of overdose.

.Bowling Green State University – $475,535 to develop predictive models for identifying risk factors leading to substance abuse. BGSU will work to identify individual factors associated with dependence and subsequently develop a model to predict the target group more likely to face addiction risk. Bowling Green’s research will also help to identify behavioral and socioeconomic factors that affect communities, with a goal of developing a geo-spatial model to assess substance addiction risk using cutting-edge, data-driven analytics.

.Case Western Reserve University – $96,837 to identify the geographic context of opiate use for targeting interventions. The project is based on the work of CWRU’s GIS Health and Hazards Lab, which has developed a method that informs substance abuse intervention strategies. Project goals are to collect, analyze, and map spatial video geonarratives about substance use disorder based upon the knowledge of local law enforcement; refine a previously developed mapping tool so law enforcement can more fully understand the geography of substance use; and deploy the local mapping tool with law enforcement partners for revised feedback and dissemination to agencies across Ohio.

.Nationwide Children’s Hospital – $499,998 to better understand the risk of relapse among adults in Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) remission. The project will examine an application of passive home monitoring technology that tracks daily schedules and routines of adults living with OUD. Machine learning will be applied to identify daily or weekly patterns within each household.

Project findings will be reported by each institution and are expected by the end of fiscal year 2021. House Bill 166 also provides Research Incentive awards of up to $1 million and $750,000 for projects in the areas of infant mortality and cybersecurity, respectively, in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.