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October 11, 2012

ULM Criminal Justice Department helps secure $3 million grant

Dr. Michael Gomila, part time faculty in the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Criminal Justice Department, and Dr. Sue Austin of the Department of Health and Hospital's Office of Behavioral Health, were recently awarded the $3 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrations State Adolescent Treatment Enhancement and Dissemination Grant.

According to Gomila, the grant provides $1 million per year over the next three years, for the development of adolescent substance abuse treatment within the state.

The grant will also help to develop a blueprint for policies, procedures, and financing structures that can be used to expand the use of evidence based substance abuse practices in Louisiana.

“Overall, the grant aims to change the way that substance abuse services are delivered statewide,” said Gomila. “The goal is to encourage providers to use the latest scientific treatment models to improve the quality of care offered to adolescents.”

Gomila—who works full time with the Department of Health and Hospital’s Office of Behavioral Health—said the grant has a broader application that extends to the whole state.

ULM faculty will have a large role in working with the grant.

The evaluators selected for this grant initiative are Dr. Robert Hanser, associate professor and director of criminal justice at ULM; Dr. Attapol Kuanliang, assistant professor of criminal justice at ULM; and Dr. Mkay Bonner, assistant professor of criminal justice a ULM.

Hanser is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) with the Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (ADRA), and he has evaluated a variety of substance abuse treatment programs including grant-funded projects with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

He has also worked service delivery as a practitioner in addiction treatment in outpatient and prison-based program settings.

Evaluators will be analyzing treatment data to better understand the quality of treatment provided through grant services, and how the techniques used in the grant can best be implemented throughout the state.

“The grant will also make a few Evidence Based Practice (EBP) certification courses available online for graduating behavioral health practitioners,” said Gomila.

According to Gomila, the evidence-based treatments to be introduced to the state include the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach augmented by Assertive Continuing Care, and evidence based assessment using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs.

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