This project addresses stigma associated with addiction, MOUD, and criminal involvement in the CJ system. It draws upon existing evidence-based interventions to develop a multi-level stigma intervention, Combatting Stigma to Aid Re-entry and Recovery (CSTARR), that simultaneously targets CJ staff attitudes as well as CJ-involved individuals’ ability to cope with stigma. The study uses a waitlist control design to deliver CSTARR in 5 Tennessee counties (4 treatment counties, 1 control county) that contain infrastructure called the Tennessee Recovery Oriented Compliance Strategy (TN-ROCS). TN-ROCS coordinates multiple CJ sectors (i.e., courts, corrections, probation, treatment) to divert and treat people with addiction, thus presenting a unique unified system to intervene with stigma at both client and staff levels. Also, TN-ROCS is integrating MOUD services in 2021, providing an opportunity to reduce stigma that may ultimately impact MOUD engagement. We will recruit 25 stakeholders, 80 clients, and 75 staff over the course of this 18-month project to participate in our intervention and evaluation efforts. This project aims to 1) examine the feasibility, acceptability, and implementation considerations of integrating CSTARR in the TN-ROCS program, and 2) determine whether CSTARR impacts individual, staff, and program-level outcomes.
Kelly Moore, PhD