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NIH Fogarty International Training Program

Fogarty International Training Program for Substance Abuse Research Capacity Building in Ukraine

Ukraine map

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are chronic, recurring disorders of major cost to society at all stages of the life cycle. SUDs are of particular concern in Ukraine, whose rate of alcohol use is 5th highest in the world, and whose lifetime rate of illicit drug use is already 21% by age 16 (WHO, 2011). At the same time, because of long periods of political turmoil and limited national resources, intervention programming and clinical training to address these issues is primarily focused on chronic, end stage disorder.

The UM-NIH program, under the direction of Dr. Robert Zucker and Dr. Maureen Walton, joins together faculty from 16 disciplines at the University of Michigan and from two institutions the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Social, Forensic Psychiatry and Narcology (USRISFPN) and the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NUKMA) both located in Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv. Program goals are to implement substance abuse research training experience at several different levels, transfer knowledge about the developmental etiology of SUDs, and initiate intervention technology that build upon this scientific base. The program is supported by the NIH’s Fogarty International Center, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Activities include:

  • Yearly workshops held in various cities in Ukraine, for all levels of post-doctoral substance abuse scientists. Workshop content focuses on the developmental psychopathology of SUD, research methodology, and SUD prevention and intervention strategies in non-clinical, community settings.
  • Year-long fellowships at UM, for 5 early-career post-doctoral fellows to strengthen research methodology and work on research projects with mentors in areas of common interest.
  • Home-country research projects that are developed while fellows are in the U.S.
  • 3 intermediate-term fellowships at UM for mid-career substance abuse researchers.
  • 3 short-term fellowships for senior research faculty to consult at UM and NIH about future program directions.
  • Development of a Research/Intervention Program working group to carry out clinical trials on SUD screening and early intervention in targeted communities.
  • Programming to increase scientific collaboration between Ukrainian and other Eastern European substance abuse researchers.
  • Translation of the seminal literature on developmental psychopathology, addiction psychiatry, and addiction science. This will involve translating major research articles and book chapters in these areas. The compiled, translated texts are to be distributed without cost to Ukrainian substance abuse research and treatment professionals.
  • Pilot testing of an early screening/intervention project that, if successful, will be nationally disseminated.
  • Capacity Building for Lifespan Focused Substance Abuse Disorder Research in Ukraine (Zucker and Walton)(FIC/NIDA/NIAAA Fogarty ongoing)