National Institutes of Health Spending Nearly $600K to Apply Critical Race Theory to Opioid Abuse Cases

2024-03-16 06:30:53

Why not just light a pile of cash on fire? That would be just as effective.

NIH spending $558,942 to apply critical race theory to opioid abuse treatments

The National Institutes of Health wants to know how critical race theory can be applied to prescriptions that address opioid addiction.

The University of Washington study, “Applying Critical Race Theory to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related policy changes on racial/ethnic disparities in medication treatment for opioid use disorder,” hopes to “inform future policy and interventions to improve equitable care for [Opioid Use Disorder],” according to the proposal.

The study is set to end in 2027. The NIH allocated $558,942 to the research.

The project is led by Emily Williams, a health professor at UW. According to her faculty bio, she is an “addictions health services and disparities researcher and an implementation scientist.” Assistant Professor Jessica Ann Chen, a clinical psychologist, is also working on the study.

Neither responded to two emailed requests for comment sent in the past two weeks that asked for a definition of critical race theory, how it will be applied in this study, and for alternative reasons, besides racism, white patients and black patients might be treated differently when it comes to prescriptions.

Buprenorphine, a prescription drug used to help fight opioid addictions, is less accessible to black and Hispanic patients than white patients, according to the study’s abstract.

The abstract also states policy changes provided “increased flexibility” to prescribing medications used for treating opioid addictions, such as buprenorphine, and is a chance to study the influence of less restriction on opioid addiction medication for racial minorities.

“These policies may reduce existing disparities by lowering care barriers but could exacerbate disparities if they are not equally beneficial across groups,” the abstract states. “COVID-19-related policy changes present an unprecedented opportunity to examine impacts of a structural intervention—relaxed MOUD restrictions—on disparities generated by structural racism and discrimination.”

They will use a “Public Health Critical race praxis,” in the study.

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National Institutes of Health Spending Nearly $600K to Apply Critical Race Theory to Opioid Abuse Cases


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