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VIDA Reasearch GroupVulnerability Issues in Drug Abuse (VIDA) Project

The UTEP VIDA Project is aimed at the development of a university-wide, cross-disciplinary drug abuse and research training program that is tailored toward students and faculty members interested in a career in drug abuse research, especially those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and communities. The unifying theme of the project originates from the strengths of the UTEP VIDA team in addressing both vulnerability and the factors that can be applied to the predisposition of a person to abuse drugs. Vulnerability refers to the social and cultural antecedents of drug abuse and the interactive psychological and neural factors that result in the desire to repeat and intensify drug use at all levels of the life cycle of addiction. The expertise on vulnerability to drug abuse that already exists across researchers at UTEP underlines the institution’s current potential to develop a training program in drug abuse research, as well as the feasibility of establishing significant interactions and collaborations to advance knowledge about the problem of drug abuse

UTEP Labs and Research StudentTraining & Research

The VIDA Project will prepare faculty and students through the implementation of specific mechanisms including research opportunities and training activities via the individual research projects, as well as workshops, seminars and conferences that bring together faculty, students, and community agencies to develop and enhance drug abuse research in the Paso del Norte border region. This interchange of ideas will produce more sophisticated and meaningful training in drug research, particularly research focused on the specificity of Hispanic drug use and vulnerability. Moreover, graduate and undergraduate students participating in the proposed research projects will learn the skills necessary to address the culturally relevant questions posed in research. The social relevance of the research programs is expected to motivate Hispanic undergraduate and graduate student trainees to develop a career trajectory in drug abuse research.