Posted on October 18, 2001 at 10:40 p.m.
BIRMINGHAM, AL University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Psychology Professor Jesse B. Milby, Ph.D., ABPP, has received two grants totaling $8.5 million from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for two studies involving experimental, intensive day-treatment and training for homeless abusers of drugs and alcohol.
The first grant, totaling $5 million, is for a follow-up to a study in which Milby’s group developed an intervention combining therapy, job training, a financial stipend and housing for homeless people suffering from severe substance abuse. The study resulted in a 72 percent abstinence after two months of day treatment and 48 percent and 39 percent abstinence after six- and 12-month follow-ups with great reductions in homelessness and increased employment.
The grant will enable UAB researchers to transport the program to the University of Texas Houston Recovery Campus to determine the effectiveness of the program at a new site. If successful, says Milby, “we can say that the program can be replicated and implemented in other urban centers. This knowledge has important clinical, economic, public health and public housing policy implications.”
The second grant is for $3.5 million. It will fund a research project which is the fourth in a series of studies to determine the necessary conditions for effective intervention with homeless persons who have a dual diagnosis of a non-psychotic mental disorder and addiction.
In this study, 160 homeless persons suffering from cocaine addiction and mental disorders will be assigned to two groups. One group will receive housing and vocational training contingent upon their abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The other will receive day treatment along with housing and vocational training. Except for day treatment, both groups will share the same interventions and the same counselors in three phases. Subjects will then be monitored at two, six, 12 and 18-month intervals for treatment outcomes, homelessness, employment and HIV/AIDS risk. The study also will look at the cost vs. the effectiveness and benefits to society.
“The results will provide us with important knowledge on how to treat this difficult population most cost effectively,” said Milby, “which has important clinical, economic and public policy implications.”
Joseph Schumacher, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the Department of Preventative Medicine, is the co-principle investigator on both studies.