Abenaa Jones’ current work focuses on the opioid epidemic and examines racial differences in opioid overdose educational training and administration of overdose reversal drugs, and the prevalence of opioid use in inner cities, and racial/ethnic differences in opioid use. Her current work also expands to treatment for opioid use disorder among women involved in the criminal justice system. The current projects include:
- conducting interviews with criminal justice-involved women, criminal justice professionals, and clinicians who specialize in MAT to expand our understanding of factors that facilitate cessation and associated health/behavioral outcomes among opioid-dependent women, and
- developing and implementing an intervention to reduce opioid dependency among criminal-justice-involved women by increasing access and retention to medication-assisted treatment and trauma-informed care.
Her earlier work delved into the intersectionality of substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS, termed the SAVA syndemic among women in drug courts, an alternative to incarceration program. The various studies I have conducted illustrated the prevalence of violence and risky sexual behaviors among women who use substances as well as:
- evaluated the longitudinal trends of the SAVA syndemic over time among women involved in the criminal justice system;
- assessed the utility of a peer-partnered case management intervention versus a standard intervention in reducing SAVA over time;
- used latent variable analysis to identify subgroups of women within the criminal justice system based on behavioral profiles and evaluated whether changes in drug use, sexual behaviors, and victimization differed by such groups,
- examined SAVA at baseline and future criminal charges (felonies, misdemeanors, and municipal violations), and
- determined the effect of race, markers of socioeconomic status (i.e., education and unstable housing) on SAVA over time.
View Abenaa Jones’ faculty web page on the College of Health and Human Development website.