Yale Research Program on Women and Drug Abuse Established With $2.5 Million NIDA Grant

Drug abuse among women will be the focus of a new five-year, $2.5 million faculty training grant recently awarded to Yale University researchers in the Department of Psychiatry.

The grant, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health, will focus on training scholars to conduct interdisciplinary research on the etiology of drug abuse in women, and on the development of new sex-specific treatments and prevention strategies.

Carolyn M. Mazure, professor of psychiatry and Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale is the principal investigator and Bruce Rounsaville, M.D., professor of psychiatry, is the program director for this grant, which will establish the Yale Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research Scholar Program on Women and Drug Abuse.

Studies have found that women comprise an ever-growing subgroup of those abusing drugs. Though women are more likely to abuse prescribed medications, studies indicate that 37 percent of the illicit drug-using population, an estimated 4.7 million, are women.

“The reality is that because drug abuse is more prevalent in men than women, women who abuse drugs have been dramatically understudied,” said Mazure. “This is true despite the fact that women have a differing course and differing consequences of drug abuse, and that drug abuse in women has a greater impact on children and families.”

Dr. Mazure said the grant is unique because it provides training opportunities for faculty-level scholars, as opposed to the usual training grants for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral study.

“Many scholars are strong in either the area of drug abuse or women’s health, but not in both,” Mazure said. “This grant gives us the opportunity to assist researchers who want to bridge these areas.”

The program will provide slots for five faculty scholars mentored by faculty from the Yale School of Medicine. These research mentors are experts in research ranging from molecular models of drug abuse to substance abuse treatment to health policy. Applicants interested in the program may send e-mail to bruce.rounsaville@yale.edu for more information.

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326