Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba: Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.”

This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. The trans-NIH research effort aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.  Phase 1 of the project (R61 phase) is a two-year pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention, and phase 2 (R33 phase) is a three-year clinical trial. The approved budget for Phase 1 is $783,788, and the total budget for the five-year project is $2,793,879. The release of funds for Phase 2 will be contingent upon successful completion of Phase 1. The funded project is summarized below.

There is evidence that combining mindfulness-based interventions and peer recovery support services with medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to treat opioid use disorders (OUD) reduces substance use, cravings, symptoms of depression and anxiety and relapse rates. The intervention can also improve treatment retention and relationships with treatment providers and social supports. The goal of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention that also uses peer mentors in addition to professional substance abuse therapists (the Minds and Mentors program [MiMP]) in improving adherence to MAT for OUD and reducing relapse rates in a sample of individuals with OUD. The study hypothesizes that participants in MiMP will demonstrate better adherence; reduced relapse and cravings (primary outcomes measures); reduced depression, anxiety, and stress; improved social support; and reduced cortisol levels and reactivity to drug cues.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.