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 has 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” first 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:
- 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.
- A research/expert consortium for recommendations for Undergraduate College to integrate evidence-based prevention interventions and wellness components into academics (to be implemented immediately by UGS in Dr. Holleran Steiker’s role as part of the SHIFT Executive Team, https://shift.utexas.edu/, and Associate Dean and Director of Instruction, Engagement, and Wellness through 220 Signature Course faculty plus Support settings such as Sanger Learning Center, FIGS/TRIGS, and Vick Center for Advising Excellence).
- 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.
- Establishment of a permanent and sustainable Community-Based Network for Youth and Emerging Adults with substance use, misuse, and SUDs (addressing the spectrum from prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery). This network can be accessed through Dr. Holleran Steiker and the Addictions Research Institute at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work — access this link here https://ari.socialwork.utexas.edu/)
- We embraced Opioid Prevention and Response in the Pop-Up Institute and have geared up due to the Opioid Epidemic so drastically impacting youth. “Operation Naloxone” at the University of Texas, now with millions of Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR) grant money, is a collaboration between Social Work, Undergraduate College, Pharmacy, and Student Affairs under the leadership of Kate Lower and the SHIFT initiative. Naloxone trainings are available and access to Naloxone in dorms, the PCL library, and UTPD is sustained. Also, faculty and staff from across UT continue to meet regularly to collaborate and update and support each other via the UT Opioid Response Consortium (UTORC) — see this site to learn more and/or join us: https://sites.utexas.edu/utorc/
- The initial “Pop-Up” culminated with a month of daily events and activities to raise awareness and enhance research collaborations around youth and substance use. We had a nationally streamed SAMHSA Town Hall on Youth Opioid Prevention (May 14th, 2018), 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. Please reach out to Dr. Holleran Steiker (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Dr. Kasey Claborn (email@example.com) if you would like to join any and all of our interdisciplinary initiatives! Our work is life changing and life saving.