This is Archived Content

This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
View current meetings on


October 12, 2004 - 12:00am to October 13, 2004 - 12:00am
Residence Inn by Marriott, Bethesda, Maryland

NIDA Organizer(s): Lula Beatty, Ph.D., Chief, Special Populations Office; Chair, African American Initiative Committee

Meeting Purpose and Intent

The goals of the meeting were to: summarize what is known about the relationship among drug use, HIV/AIDS, and criminal justice involvement as experienced within the Black/African American population; identify gaps in research and knowledge base that stymie efforts to develop and implement effective drug abuse/HIV prevention and treatment interventions for Blacks/African Americans; and discuss how to address these gaps or research needs as they pertain to health related aspects of drug abuse research.

Brief Discussion of Meeting Outcome

The meeting opened with the Welcome and Overview of the Initiative from Nora Volkow, M.D., Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Volkow stated that NIDA has established as a major priority addressing the disproportionate way in which minorities are affected by substance abuse. She noted that though the percentage of African Americans who uses drugs mirrors the percent in the population, a disproportionate number of African Americans/HIV drug users have HIV/AIDS. Moreover, drug use and incarceration are linked closely yet a disproportionate number of African Americans are in jails. Dr. Volkow convened a working group to draft action items for how to address substance use issues within the African American community. NIDA is particularly concerned that rates of HIV/AIDS and criminal justice involvement have been increasing in African Americans as the rates have decreased in other groups. The working group, the African American Initiative Committee, convened this meeting to assist in understanding why this happened and what we need to do as health researchers to facilitate change.

Presentations were made by 21 experts in the areas of Etiology, Interventions, Treatments, Services, Promising Models and Research Dissemination in relation to HIV/AIDS and Criminal Justice Involvement in African Americans as a Consequence of Drug Use. Presenters were asked to provide a brief summary of the state of the science as it pertains to their area of expertise, describe the body of research (including theoretical positions, methodological approaches) and/or experiences, and present key findings or lessons learned from their work that will advance NIDA's understanding of the issues. Following the presentations, guests and presenters discussed additional recommendations and outcomes as a result of the information shared during the two day meeting.

Expected Follow-up

The African American Initiative Committee plans to develop recommendations on research, training, dissemination activities, and perspectives to share with the field, based on speaker presentations.

Brief Description of Resulting Publications

The Committee is currently working on a special issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Articles based on presentations made at the meeting will be published in late 2005. For more information regarding the publication, contact Dr. Lula Beatty.