Assistant Professor Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo Awarded NIH Grant to Study Substance Use Among Formerly Incarcerated

Tawandra L. Rowell-CunsoloApproximately sixty-five percent of individuals released from incarceration in the United States confront challenges of substance use disorders (SUDs) and the risk of drug overdose is much higher for formerly incarcerated individuals than the general population. To examine the factors contributing to changes in substance use and treatment among this population, Assistant Professor Tawandra Rowell-Cunsolo received a five-year, $3 million Research Project Grant (R01) from the National Institutes of of Health/National Institutes on Drug Abuse.

Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo’s project, titled, “Examining predictors of substance use and treatment adequacy among formerly incarcerated opioid and cocaine users,” will examine a one-year period post-release among formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City (NYC), both their substance use and treatment services. Specifically, Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo and colleagues will: 

  1. Characterize substance use at five time points over a 12-month period (at baseline and 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12- months) among those recently released from incarceration.
  2. Identify individual- and environment-level predictors of post-incarceration substance use.
  3. Investigate discrepancies between ASAM PPC composite scores (a measure of addiction severity) generated and levels of substance use treatment over time.

Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo’s research broadly examines ways in which incarceration affects the health of vulnerable communities, especially in the areas of HIV risk behaviors and substance use. Collaborators on the project include Katherine Curtis, PhD (UW-Madison); David Long, MS (UW-Madison); Carl Hart, PhD (Columbia University); George Musa, PhD (Columbia University & New York State Psychiatric Institute); and Elwin Wu, PhD (Columbia University).