Casae Researcher to Head Effort to Improve Addiction Treatment in Native Groups

Pamela Jumper Thurman, a senior research scientist with Colorado State University’s Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity, has been named chairwoman of a committee that will seek to improve protocol for substance abuse treatment in Native populations. The committee is part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment is beginning work on a new Treatment Improvement Protocol publication, "Substance Abuse Treatment for American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders Living in Rural Areas."

"The TIPS series is an exceptional therapeutic tool that is offered free throughout the U.S. in an effort to improve treatment services," Thurman said. "This one focuses on Native issues which is particularly exciting. I am very honored to be a part of this process."

Thurman will head up the effort to provide practical information for substance abuse treatment counselors and program administrators regarding the unique treatment and recovery needs of Native populations living in rural areas and strategies to improve service access, delivery and retention.

Thurman has more than 20 years of experience in research on such topics as cultural competence, mental health, substance abuse, violence and victimization, rural women’s concerns, HIV/AIDS prevention, solvent abuse and partner violence as well as 20 years in the provision of program evaluation and direct treatment and prevention services. She is a co-developer and co-author of the Community Readiness Model and has directly applied the model in more than 1,000 communities nationally and internationally. She has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for federal grants that examined intimate partner violence, methamphetamine prevention, rural drug use, American Indian substance use/epidemiology and solvent use among youth.

CASAE, part of Colorado State’s College of Liberal Arts, is dedicated to meeting the educational and research needs of students and faculty interested in issues such as inclusive histories, identity formation, cultural practices and beliefs, and historical representations of racial and ethnic groups. The program is designed to provide an instructional and resource base for future professionals working in fields where an understanding of ethnicity will enhance their professional effectiveness.