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Sharon Reif

Heller Receives $1.5 Million to Study Opioid Addiction and Treatment in Disability Community

Heller News Release
October 09, 2018

A team of researchers at the Heller School has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to study opioid use disorder (OUD) among people with disabilities in the United States.

Principal Investigator Sharon Reif, PhD’02, senior scientist and deputy director of the Institute for Behavioral Health (IBH), will lead the study, dubbed “Project INROADS” (INtersecting Research on Opioid Misuse, Addiction, and Disability Services). Reif’s team combines deep expertise from two of Heller’s research institutes: IBH and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

Reif says, “This project will examine opioid use disorder among people who have disabilities, broadly speaking. This is especially important because very little is known about the intersection of disability and addiction, let alone opioid addiction specifically. People with disabilities are at higher risk of pain and higher risk of addiction, yet have many barriers to care. We want to understand where the problems are for this population in terms of the addiction pathway, as well as the addiction treatment pathway.”

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