Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use

AlcoholIn the U.S., alcohol and drug use is the third leading preventable cause of death. Substance use is costly to society, and has a significant impact on health and social problems. The need for substance abuse research in the State of Texas is underscored by our alarmingly high statewide rate of alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities – a rate which exceeds that of all other large population states. Faculty at the UNTHSC have conducted significant research into the causes of and solutions to substance use, particularly among young people and those in the criminal justice system.

TobaccoDr. Barnett’s research focuses on e-cigarette and hookah use among adolescents and young adults, and tobacco cessation interventions for adults. Dr. Thombs has documented predictors and patterns of alcohol consumption among intoxicated bar patrons. Dr. Walters has conducted a range of studies examining predictors of substance use among young people and those in the criminal justice system, and has developed in-person and web-based interventions for a variety of high-risk populations. Dr. Lewis’ experimental, ecological momentary assessment, and longitudinal research studies focus on uncovering why adolescents and young adults engage in health-risk behavior, including alcohol use and alcohol-related sexual risk taking. She studies how we can, in turn, use this knowledge to identify protective and risk factors as well as develop and evaluate interventions to prevent and reduce health-risk behavior. Dr. Litt’s research focuses on both the etiology and prevention of adolescent and young adult substance use, with a particular focus on how both offline (i.e.  peer and friend substance use) and online (i.e. social networking site use) influences impact health risk behavior decision-making. Dr. Mun’s research focuses on large-scale research synthesis of alcohol intervention trials for young adults to estimate comparative effectiveness using innovative statistical inference methods.

This page was last modified on September 24, 2018