Eisman designs and tests curriculum to reduce substance abuse among youth who experience trauma

Andria Eisman, Ph.D., MPH

Andria Eisman, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of community health, will design and test a multi-component implementation strategy for an evidence-based health curriculum, the Michigan Model for HealthTM (MMH), to enhance its responsiveness for students exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). The study “Preventing Substance Abuse Use Among Youth: Behavioral and Economic Impact of Enhanced Implementation Strategies for Communities,” is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. It will be conducted in partnership with two regional health coordinators — Genesee and Oakland counties — and in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Investigators will work with teachers and students (adolescents) at schools, with particular emphasis on those that serve a high proportion of youth who are at risk of trauma. Youth exposed to ACES and community-level trauma are at heightened risk of substance abuse, substance use disorders, and related outcomes, including poor mental health and academic outcomes.  

The project has the potential to have a positive public health impact by reducing the risk of the consequences of trauma exposure by tailoring a universal (Tier 1) prevention curriculum to meet the needs of youth. This research is aligned with a whole-child approach, which is focused on meeting the comprehensive needs of children and youth and is critical to improving health and academic outcomes. 

“This project is a collaborative effort with health coordinators and schools, in cooperation with MDHHS, to make sure students and teachers have access to the resources and support they need,” said Eisman. “Working together, we are designing trauma-informed content, training, and supports for the MMH curriculum while keeping the core components that make it effective. This will support building important protective factors that reduce risk of substance use and abuse among youth.” 

The initiative is one of many developed by the college’s Center for Health and Community Impact, which seeks to improve community health and vitality through diverse and inclusive programs, advocacy, and research. The educators, clinicians, scientists, and community leaders involved collaborate to advance health, well-being, equity, and life success throughout communities locally, regionally, and nationally. 

Other faculty members engaged in this research project include Whitney Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise psychology, and Leslie Lundahl, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, in the Wayne State University School of Medicine. 

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K01DA044279. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. 

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