ANN ARBOR — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) announced that the University of Michigan will receive a $2,291,835 research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to continue research on substance abuse, to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis.
“This critical funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse will help the University of Michigan continue its important work researching substance abuse and the impact it has on our communities,” Dingell said. “Gaining a better understanding of substance abuse will help us address the tragic opioid epidemic and the ongoing mental health crisis that has devastated far too many families. I look forward to continuing to work with the University of Michigan to address these significant issues for our communities and our country.”
The funds will go towards a long-term study into substance abuse patterns that follows young adults into older age already ongoing at the university.
“With this grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, we will continue a study at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research that has been ongoing for nearly 50 years,” said Dr. Megan Patrick, research professor at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research. “The Monitoring the Future Panel Study follows graduating high school seniors from across the U.S. each year to examine patterns and consequences of substance use across adulthood.
“We believe this study is the only one that prospectively follows U.S. nationally-representative samples over such a long period, now from ages 18 to 65. These next five years will be particularly important for understanding trends in substance use as we continue to experience the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, battle the opioid crisis and monitor recent increases in marijuana use and vaping. The need to understand substance use among young, middle and older adults and related consequences on health and well-being has never been greater.”
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) says there have been about 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. since 2000. If alcohol and tobacco are included, 165 million or 60.2 percent of Americans aged 12-years-old or older currently abuse drugs.
Marijuana, prescription drugs and opioids remain the top three substances used by American adults. The NCDAS also says drug use is highest among persons between the ages of 18-25 at 39 percent, compared to persons aged 26-29, at 34 percent.