Grant Received for the South African Addiction Technology Transfer Center

October 20, 2017

Dr. Sara Becker & Dr. Caroline Kou

Dr. Caroline Kou and Dr. Sara Becker received a grant of $2.5 Million dollars for their work on the South African Addiction Technology Transfer Center. The Primary Innvestigator’s Sara Becker (Assistant Professor in BSS based at CAAS) and Caroline Kuo (Assistant Professor in BSS based in CAAS and IHI; Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion), also worked with Dan Stein (Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at University of Cape Town) on this project. The grant runs from September 30, 2017 to September 29, 2022. 

Dr.’s Kou, Becker, and Stein received this grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is expanding their global efforts to combat problematic substance use globally including treatment of alcohol, drugs, and behavioral health disorders, particular in relation to the intersection of these public health crises with the HIV epidemic. South Africa (along with Ukraine and Vietnam) will be one of three global sites where SAMHSA is investing funds to build an infrastructure to address co-occurring substance use and HIV epidemics. 

This international and interdisciplinary team will focus on three goals: (1) develop evidence-based resources and training to expand the capacity and expertise of front-line treatment providers, supervisors, administrators, allied health professionals, and lay workers; (2) develop standards of professional practice for mental health and substance use disorders treatment providers, including partnering with academic institutions to train and educate the next generation of providers; and (3) develop strategies to enhance recruitment and retention of mental health and substance use disorder treatment, peer, and other recovery support providers.

This project represents a strategic international partnership between the New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center, a SAMHSA-funded regional training center that has been based at Brown for over 25 years, and the University of Cape Town, the oldest University in South Africa 

South Africa is a compelling country to develop expertise and capacity because it (1) has the largest country population living with HIV; and (2) a severe shortage of behavioral health providers including (for example, there are only 170 psychiatrists serving in the public health sector, serving 30 million South Africans - from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5458564/

Brown, building on their expertise in substance use prevention and treatment, HIV prevention and treatment, and global health, is poised to make a large impact on public health is this high priority country.