USF CBCS Faculty Receive CDC $2.25 million Grant to Fund Opioid Epidemic Research

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a serious public health problem that has reached epidemic levels in the United States with 115 deaths each day due to opioid overdose. When people with OUDstep down from prison, inpatient detoxification (detox), or residential treatment, the risk of overdose death is particularly high. Novel innovative approaches to prevent opioid overdose deaths that can support safe transition from inpatient or locked environments to outpatient medication-assisted treatment (MAT) while enhancing medication adherence are rapidly needed to achieve meaningful reductions in opioid overdoses.

In collaboration with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) and Agency for Community Treatment Services (ACTS), Drs. Kathleen Moore (Co-PI), Holly Hills (Co-I), Khary Rigg (Co-I) and Ms. Amanda Sharp (Graduate Research Assistant) at the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) received a three-year $2.25 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to examine novel ways to reduce opioid overdose deaths. Dr. Zev Schuman-Olivier (Co-PI) from Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) has conducted pilot studies of a technology-based mobile device application called MySafeRx. This platform integrates remote motivational enhancement (RME) sessions with daily supervised dosing from secure electronic pill dispensers via videoconference to encourage adherence during MAT treatment. MySafeRx innovatively seeks to reduce medication adherence obstacles, such as transportation, while increasing motivation and readiness for recovery with the integration of individualized RME sessions. This project will conduct a randomized controlled trial among 160 people with OUD to evaluate the effect of RME sessions on post-detox engagement in MAT treatment with daily dosing.We expect this study will generate new knowledge about the most effective way to prevent overdose and engage patients in MAT treatment with observed daily dosing,making it easier to increase BUP treatment access and adherence.