Institute for Behavioral Health


INROADS, or Intersecting Research on Opioid Misuse, Addiction, and Disability Services, is a joint research program between Brandeis University’s Institute for Behavioral Health and Lurie Institute for Disability Policy that examines the intersection between addiction, disability, and service provision in an effort to address the rise of opioid use disorders (OUD) among people with disabilities. In the United States at large, opioid misuse has led to a national crisis resulting in deaths, illnesses, and other detrimental results that require a thoughtful response that focuses on the causes and systems behind the opioid addiction crisis. 

Our research aims to understand how and why people with disabilities misuse opioids, help them access treatment, recover from OUD, and move toward their individually defined life goals. To this end, we are engaging people with disabilities and a history of addictions and using a holistic analytical approach to understand the complex systems that lead to opioid misuse among people with disabilities. Our work intends to foreground the needs of people with disabilities by including them throughout the duration of our research. 

The INROADS program incorporates a multi-pronged strategy, including a systematic literature review, analyses of national and state data on the intersection between disability and OUD, educational papers and briefs about our research, focus groups, workshops, and an upcoming special issue of the Disability and Health Journal (DHJO).

INROADS in the news:

"Study Finds People Suffering Traumatic Brain Injuries Are More at Risk of Opioid Abuse." Newsweek, September 9, 2021.

Recent publications include: 

Adams, RS. 2021. “Traumatic Brain Injury and Opioid Use: Additional Evidence Supporting the “Perfect Storm” of Cascading Vulnerabilities.” (2021). Preface to the Topical Issue on Traumatic Brain Injury and Opioids in Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Sep-Oct 01:36(5):303-309.
Rachel Sayko Adams, PhD, Co-PI of INROADS, guest edited a topical issue of Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation on "Traumatic Brain Injury and Opioids." The above preface is available for free from the publisher.

Adams, RS, Corrigan, JD, Ritter, GA, Hagemeyer, A, Pliskin, MB, and Reif, S. (2021). Association of Lifetime History of Traumatic Brain Injury with Prescription Opioid Use and Misuse among AdultsJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Sep-Oct 01:36(5):328-337.

Starosta, AJ, Adams, RS, Marwitz, J, Kreutzer, J, Monden, KR, Dams-O’Connor, K, and Hoffman, J. (2021). Scoping Review of Opioid Use after Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Sep-Oct 01:36(5):310-327.

Reif, S, Lauer, EA, Adams, RS, Brucker, DL, Ritter, GA, and Mitra, M. (2021). Examining Differences in Prescription Opioid Use Behaviors among U.S. Adults With and Without Disabilities. Preventive Medicine. E-pub ahead of print.

Reif, S, Karriker-Jaffe, KJ, Valentine, A, Patterson, D, Mericle, AA, Adams, RS, and Greenfield, TK. (Accepted, In Press). Substance use patterns and disability status in a US national sample: a mediating role for chronic pain. Disability and Health Journal.

For a more complete listing of INROADS publications, visit our Publications and Issue Briefs page.



INROADS is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPGE0007, PI: Sharon Reif). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.