About the Missouri Center for Addiction Research and Engagement

In 2018, one in every 56 deaths in Missouri was due to an opioid overdose1. The number of arrests that same year for driving under the influence of alcohol was 11,874 statewide2. Additionally, 235,000 Missourians misused prescription drugs in in 20193.

Addiction is a significant and cross-cutting problem that affects not only those who abuse substances, but also their families, their communities, and the nation as a whole. Recently, nationwide, more than 20 million adults in the U.S. reported experiencing a substance abuse disorder.

Our mission here at the Missouri Center for Addiction Research and Engagement, better known as MO-CARE, is to research the best ways to treat theses addictions, teach professional health care providers how to deliver that care, and ensure much-needed and successful treatment options are available across the country,

Launched in 2019, MO-CARE coordinates the work of addiction investigators across the University of Missouri System and beyond to meet the needs of those affected by addiction through innovative research, enhancing remote access to care, and training the next generation of addiction-treatment providers.

In addition to training new addiction health professionals, MO-CARE collaborates with health care providers, such as nurses, pharmacists, pain management physicians, and surgeons to better understand the addiction process. These partnerships further lead to holistic and more precise interventions.

Vision Combined With Action

MO-CARE’s vision is to integrate efforts across the UM system and beyond in order to lead the nation in research, teaching, and outreach to address the causes of addictions and promote health through prevention and treatment.

We believe responding to the opioid crisis, preventing the next substance abuse epidemic, and addressing Missouri’s most prevalent and long-standing addiction problem alcohol abuse requires innovative approaches to understanding and treating addiction. MU faculty from multiple colleges are already positioned to integrate their substantial expertise in addiction research and training. MO-CARE is the hub that combines knowledge discovered across disciplines like psychology, medicine, nursing, social work, and others to develop unique and successful addiction treatments. This collaborative mindset is at MO-CARE’s core.

At MO-CARE we are dedicated to:

  • Facilitate advancement and development activities related to addiction research and outreach
  • Provide guidance to providers both in preparatory training and continued education
  • Create opportunities for system-level collaborative research and training, such as that done through other campus locations or nearby institutions that have strong ties to the university.
  • Increase funding opportunities to areas deemed a priority by federal and other agencies

MO-CARE’s Strengths

MO-CARE’s strengths include excellence in research, engagement and outreach, and student success.

Excellence in Research: MO-CARE investigators have a strong history of support from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the National Cancer Institute.  MO-CARE’s goal is to leverage the range of expertise across the UM system to increase federal research funding in addiction.

Excellence in Engagement in Outreach: MO-CARE is working to integrate and expand upon the UM system‘s existing engagement programs targeting addiction, to identify opportunities to partner with state and local government agencies to support addiction prevention and education, and identify advancement opportunities in addiction that can enhance the mission of MO-CARE.

Excellence in Student Success: A particular emphasis for MO-CARE is training the next generation of addiction service providers and researchers, with training programs across multiple levels (undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral) and areas of care (e.g., psychology, nursing). MO-CARE is working to develop new programs that train students for addiction-relevant research and health services careers, and provide addiction expertise to support MU student health and wellness.

This will result in the following:

  1. Providing a centralized hub for training addiction service providers across all areas of health care.
  2. Positioning for additional National Institutes of Health (NIH) support for cutting-edge research and training programs in addiction.
  3. Developing the capacity to support NIH center grants to produce groundbreaking, interdisciplinary addiction research.

MO-CARE’s Network of Partners

None of these goals, visions and strengths will be possible without University of Missouri partnerships as well as those beyond its pillars. These are growing as the center grows, and will continue to spread out into the communities of Missouri. Some current partnerships include:

Developing and expanding MO-CARE with additional support and resources that the center creates, will allow MO-CARE to help MU reach its strategic goals of doubling federal research funding, developing even more effective engagement with its community constituents, and serving student success and career readiness.

  1. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  2. Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
  3. Missouri Department of Mental Health