The Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation (Consortium) is an alliance committed to strengthening substance abuse prevention and intervention activities through collaborative research. The Consortium coordinates research and knowledge transfer among researchers, assists professionals in the field, and informs public policy makers in the area of substance abuse. The Consortium's Coordinating Board is made up of representatives from the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University; state departments of Public Health, Corrections, and Drug Control Policy; and representatives from local substance abuse service agencies.
The Consortium facilitates multidisciplinary research to evaluate substance abuse prevention and treatment efforts in the State of Iowa. Research and evaluation activities involve practitioners, treatment providers, state agency representatives, government policymakers, and researchers from institutions of higher education. The Consortium addresses its mission through the following activities:
- Supporting and conducting substance abuse research and evaluation within the State of Iowa;
- Strengthening substance abuse prevention and intervention strategies operating within the State of Iowa;
- Supporting the education of new researchers in substance abuse;
- Contributing to the education of students and professionals in fields such as health care, education, corrections, human services and counseling; and
- Contributing to the development of public policy related to substance abuse.
In the coming year, the Consortium will continue its unique capacity for interdisciplinary alcohol and drug research and evaluation in Iowa. Specific projects include:
- Evaluating prevention, treatment and cultural competency effectiveness in substance abuse services offered at the community and state level in Iowa.
- Assisting the State in implementing quality improvement techniques at the state and agency levels.
- Updating the Iowa Youth Survey, a statewide survey of 6th, 8th, and 11th graders, about youth attitudes and experiences regarding substance abuse, violence, and their perceptions of peer, family, school, and community environments.
- Assist state agencies with epidemiological surveys and monitoring of substance abuse issues. This will also provide a resource for academic researchers, local, and state agencies in establishing priorities for programs, research, and prevention.
Funds for FY 2019 will provide administrative salary support and other operating expenses for the continuation of the Consortium's unique capacity for interdisciplinary alcohol and drug research and evaluation in Iowa. State funding cuts reduce our ability for community outreach as well as reduce our ability to offer free assistance to state agencies.