Funded Pilots

Awards were presented for innovative projects that are highly significant for the field. Each awardee has mentors who will offer guidance in the conduct of their studies and bring a broader transdisciplinary perspective to their work.
2020 Pilot Project Awards
Elliott, Luther
NYU School of Global Public Health
Exploratory Mapping of Kratom Use Patterns and Markets in NYC

Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) has become an increasingly controversial substance within the contexts of the U.S. opioid crisis. While popularly claimed to be an effective analgesic and alternative to methadone and buprenorphine, it has been linked to a growing number of documented cases of dependence, morbidity, and mortality. Kratom may also serve to interrupt the continuum of care for HIV and HCV by serving as a barrier to individuals with OUD accessing traditional healthcare and evidence-based treatments.

This study will addres the importance of understanding the social and motivational contexts for the use of kratom, as well as the social geography of its legal market within New York City.

The study aims are to:

Aim 1: Conduct cultural and market mapping of kratom-carrying outlets across the city.

Aim 2: Conduct a survey-based assessment of the kratom consumer base in NYC.

Aim 3: Conduct a qualitative substudy to better understand pathways to harm (including avoidance to OAT and escalation to injection opioid use) among people who use kratom.

Mentors:
  • N/A
Ompad, Danielle
NYU School of Global Public Health
New Marijuana Products: Implications for Sexual Effects and Sexual Risk Behavior

This study will document the types of marijuana products used and its effects on sexual behavior among users in New York City and through an internet survey. The study will explore whether harm reduction strategies are employed to reduce drug-related harm and sexual risk behavior.

Mentors:
  • N/A
Chang, Ji
NYU School of Global Public Health
Operationalizing Substance Use Harm Reduction Strategies in Medical Settings

Harm reduction offers a promising approach to engage people who use drugs in treatment and care. However, conceptual ambiguities make it challenging to understand what harm reduction looks like within clinical settings. An important step in developing a framework for integrating harm reduction practices within broader medical settings is to operationalize key principles and practices for harm reduction. This study aims to address these challenges by examining how practitioners define and operationalize harm reduction principles within medical settings.

Mentors:
  • Hagan, Holly, NYU School of Global Public Health
  • D'Aunno, Tom, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Frank, David
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: Factors Influencing Patient Uptake and Retention

This study will use semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder, to examine potential differences across treatment modalities (e.g., MMT vs. buprenorphine, clinic-based vs. office-based), and among individual treatment programs/providers (e.g., abstinence-based vs. harm reduction), in how these different approaches function in regards to patient satisfaction, and uptake of and retention in, Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. Findings will be used to to establish feasibility and informing the development of more specific research questions and/or hypotheses and appropriate research design to address them.

Mentors: