Addiction Research with Community Samples


Parallel to our college samples, Dr. McChargue's lab has also established research relationships with three community treatment facilities. Our primary interests are related to the influence of trauma and affect vulnerability on substance use behaviors. This interest is consistent with prior studies showing that substance dependent individuals with trauma histories are more emotionally reactive to laboratory stress than those without a trauma background (Klanecky & McChargue, in press). For example, CentrePointe Dual Diagnosis treatment facility has given us archival data from their inpatient adolescent program. We are currently analyzing whether number of traumatic experiences among 15-18 year old substance abusers predicts 3-month relapse rates. Our main site is within a halfway house residential program.  The Houses of Hope project tracks approximately 125 males with substance use disorders in remission.  They have been clean and sober for 3 to 6 months, are homeless and unemployed.  The facility operates on a recovery science model that focuses on assisting the men recovery functioning along five domains; 1) establishing the ability to live independently, 2) increasing and solidifying they sober support network, 3) increasing activities that improve their social well-being (e.g., reuniting with family, developing friends outside of recovery, promoting leisure activities), 4) attending to their mental and physical health and 5) strengthing their relapse prevention skills to maintain abstinence.  The Houses of Hope project has a few aims.  First, we are interested in developing a model of recovery that will supplement relapse prevention focused treatment.  Most of our recovery focus is functional with the assumption that if our residents improve adaptive functioning their ability to maintain abstinence on the long term is enhance.  Our second aim is to understand how co-morbid psychopathology influences recovery efforts both positively and negatively.  Some of our research, to date, suggests that social anxiety may be a protective factor for recovery (Oakland & McChargue, under review).  Our third aim is to understand and develop a model of avoidant coping that links to neurobiological processes and funcitional outcomes.  We are particularly interested in how cognitive, behavioral and experential/emotional avoidance interact to hinder treatment outcome and the degree to which these coping responses are specific to those with co-morbid psychopathology or are a by product of severe substance dependence. Our fourth aim is assess co-morbid expressons of psychopathology and improve our understand of whether these expressions are better accounted for by recovery or are independent of the recovery process.  We also aim to help disentagle misdiagnoses associated with difficulties making differential diagnoses among co-occuring addiction and mental illness.  Lastly, the laboratory has worked in collaboration with the State Penitentiary to explore cognitive, affective and attentional deficits that impede treatment skill acquisition among prisoners with methamphetamine abuse felonies. We currently have a dataset of 60 inmates with methamphetamine dependence histories.