Integrative Treatment for Achieving Holistic Recovery from Comorbid Chronic Pain and Opioid Use Disorder

Project Principal Investigator/s:
Katie Witkiewitz and Matthew Pearson

Project Co-Investigator/s:
Margo Hurlocker, Kamilla Venner, Angel Vasquez, Brady Horn, Scott Tonigan

Funding Agency:
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Amount Awarded:
$10.6 million

Period of Performance:
10/2021 - 09/2026

Goals and Aims of Study

The center, Integrative Management of Chronic Pain and Opioid use disorder for Whole Recovery (UNM IMPOWR Center), is funded as part of the NIH HEAL Initiative and will implement two major studies and will also create infrastructure for training, pilot research projects, and community-based participatory research approaches to targeting chronic pain and opioid use disorder. Specific research projects will test the effectiveness, mechanisms, and implementation of an integrated psychosocial treatment for chronic pain and opioid use disorder among individuals receiving buprenorphine from outpatient opioid use disorder treatment clinics, and will use community-based participatory research methods to develop a culturally-centered implementation intervention for screening and brief intervention of chronic pain and opioid use disorder among American Indian/Alaska Native patients in primary care settings. The UNM IMPOWR Center is committed to data harmonization, sharing of study resources, and provider training to enhance the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of evidence-based treatments for chronic pain and OUD. The IMPOWR Center will also provide valuable training opportunity for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students at UNM. All projects by the UNM IMPOWR Center are designed to rapidly move from evaluating how well these treatments work to getting them implemented in the real world.

How this Research Will Benefit Society

Chronic pain and opioid use disorder are major public health problems. The University of New Mexico (UNM) Integrative Management of chronic Pain and Opioid use disorder for Whole Recovery (IMPOWR) Center will take an integrated and holistic approach to improving the lives of individuals with chronic pain and opioid use disorder via tailored intervention approaches to meet the needs of diverse individuals in diverse communities. Through the projects of the UNM IMPOWR Center, we will explicitly target increasing quality of life and engagement in valued activities, the cultural centering of interventions to meet the needs of diverse patient populations, and reducing stigma of chronic pain and opioid use disorder. The UNM IMPOWR Center will directly benefit individuals in New Mexico, Michigan and Minnesota, and other sites across the country serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities.