The Youth Substance Misuse and Addiction Pop-Up Institute launched a diverse network of UT scholars, students, staff, and local agencies/organizations who focus on youth substance misuse, research, intervention, and recovery initiatives. As such, the group made substantial contributions to research and practice in multiple settings, to examine the impact of addiction as it undermines the health of young people on and off-campus, their families, the community, the state, and the nation.


Our UT “Pop Up Institute” entitled “Toward Solving the Problem of Substance Misuse and Addiction Among Youth and Emerging Adults” occurred in 2017-18 and brought together experts from the UT Research Community, UT Addictions Experts, and Community Professionals to collaborate in the creation of the following:

  1.  Health System augmentation and design to connect community and UT resources and create comprehensive and effective services to transition-aged youth and their families in Texas (and eventually beyond) — including journey mapping, informatics, a digital platform for data sharing among agencies, common assessment tools, warm hand-offs from medical care to community, etc.
  2. A research/expert consortium for recommendations for Undergraduate Studies to integrate evidence-based prevention interventions and wellness components into academics (to be implemented immediately by UGS in Dr. Holleran Steiker’s new role as Director of Instruction, Engagement, and Wellness through 220 Signature Course faculty plus FIGS and TRIGS).
  3. Web presence for the sharing of ideas, data, publications, grant proposals, and discussions among our interdisciplinary team of University of Texas researchers, staff, students, and community practitioners of the Youth Recovery Network.
  4. Establishment of a permanent and sustainable Community-Based Center for Addictions for Youth and Emerging Adults (addressing the spectrum from prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery).
  5. We are including Opioid Prevention and Response in the Pop-Up Institute.   “Operation Naloxone” at the University of Texas, now with $3 million of Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR) grant money.
  6. The “Pop-Up” will culminate with a month of daily events and activities to raise awareness and enhance research collaborations around youth and substance use.  We will have a nationally streamed SAMHSA Town Hall on Youth Opioid Prevention (May 14th), a candlelight vigil for those lost to Opioids on the night of the 14th, and an Interdisciplinary Summit the following day, May 15th (UT, Dell Medical Center, the Community (and frontline agencies, University High School, and outside participants including Michael Botticelli of the Grayken Center in Boston, MA (past ONDCP Director and “Drug Czar”) and Dr. Andy Finch from Vanderbilt University.  

 The interdisciplinary group continues to focus energy on making sure that the work creates the best possible impact on UT students, interdisciplinary research, and dissemination of the innovations that grew from the Pop-Up Institute.