Pathways to Substance Use, Misuse and Addiction


Our researchers study the many factors that can lead to addiction, including prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, social/cultural influences, family dynamics and personality types.

Research on pathways to substance use, misuse and addiction ranges from studies of the prevalence of and risk factors for prescription drug use, alcohol/energy drink misuse, and other addictive behaviors such as gambling; to prenatal exposure to substances and postnatal environment on the development of problem behavior and substance use; to intimate partner behaviors in the development of and recovery from alcohol, tobacco and drug misuse.

Current pathways research

  • Effects of Cigarette Filter Ventilation on Cigarette Appeal and Preferences for Combusted and Noncombusted Tobacco Products
    O’Connor | Bradizza
    This project will assess whether removing ventilation from cigarette filters lowers cigarette product appeal among smokers.
  • Internalizing Problems, Motivation, Peers and Development of Adolescent Drug Use
    This project will study the role of internalizing problems (e.g., anxiety and depression) and social context (e.g. peers, parents) on the development of substance use in adolescents.
  • Health Evaluation of the Results of Opioid Intervention Court (HEROIC)
    Homish | Kahn
    This project will compare outcomes of Opioid Intervention Court (OIC) participants with a comparison group of participants enrolled in a traditional Drug Treatment Court (tDTC). Specifically, we will examine changes in treatment, physical and mental health, social and environmental factors, and justice related outcomes, This study addresses the leading cause of accidental death in the United States-drug overdose. This study is significant because to date, there has not been a rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of opioid intervention courts. This project will exert a sustained and powerful influence on the research fields of public health intervention and implementation science to inform public health policy and strategies.
  • Operation: SAFETY (Soldiers and Families Excelling Through the Years)
    Operation: SAFETY is a longitudinal research study that examine the health and well-being of U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard Soldiers and their partners.