DURHAM, NC (June 3, 2015)—innovation Research & Training (iRT), a leading behavior science research organization, today announced that it has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop a website to house resources on the growing public safety issue of drugged driving. 


Currently, an estimated 9.9 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs according to a 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). By comparison, in 2013, an estimated 28.7 million persons (10.9 percent) reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year.


iRT’s two-year grant calls for the completion of the development of a Drugged Driving Resources website. The website will offer free resources and products to assist an array of stakeholders in locating research, selecting prevention and treatment programs, reviewing drugged driving laws and policies, collecting data, and receiving training on the topic of drugged driving. A prototype of the site, www.druggeddrivingresources.com, was previously developed under a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NIDA.


“iRT is pleased to have been recognized and awarded the NIDA grant based on our proven past performance, use of rigorous research methods, innovative technological solutions, highly skilled personnel, and strong connections with relevant nonprofit organizations and educational facilities,” said Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, president and senior research scientist at iRT. “We look forward to extending the benefits of our work to help reduce the problem of drugged driving in our communities.”


Once finished, the Drugged Driving Resources website will host four main resources: the Drugged Driving Research Library, Drugged Driving Intervention Library, Drugged Driving Data Collection System, and Drugged Driving Resources Training.


Currently, the Drugged Driving Research Library includes searchable databases of archival datasets, measures, and laws. Its purpose is to connect researchers, policy-makers, law enforcement officials, educators, community coalitions, and other audiences with an interest in the topic of drugged driving to valuable data and scientifically validated measures. The library directs stakeholders to data sources that can answer questions such as “What is the prevalence of drugged driving in boys 16-20 years of age?” and “What questionnaires have researchers used to assess drugged driving in teenagers?”, among a variety of other questions.


Similarly, the Drugged Driving Intervention Library is a searchable, online database of existing intervention strategies for preventing and reducing the prevalence of drugged driving in adolescents and young adults. By providing intervention strategies, this resource can help connect professionals working in the field of preventing drugged driving to valuable resources on this topic. Users can get specific information such as “What evidence-based intervention programs target the problem of drugged driving in high school-aged students?”


In addition, users are able to log into the Drugged Driving Data Collection System to create surveys and collect data on the issue of drugged driving.  The data collection system was designed by researchers to help individuals and organizations with an interest in the topic of drugged driving and substance use collect important data to inform their work. The collection system includes a library of scientifically valid and reliable surveys on drugged driving and substance use.


Finally, the Drugged Driving Resources Training includes web-based, interactive, multimedia training courses on the topic of drugged driving.  The three-lesson training addresses the prevalence of drugged driving in the United States, the seven classes of drugs recognized by law enforcement and the legal consequences of drugged driving, and the impact of marijuana use on driving skills.


Throughout the two-year grant, iRT researchers will continue to expand all of the site’s resources and provide updated material, as appropriate.


“The completion of these web-based resources and products will result in increased implementation of drugged driving prevention efforts and increased public awareness of drugged driving,” said Dr. Rebecca Stelter, iRT research scientist, and principal investigator on the NIDA grant. “With this site, we are also seeking to make improvements to the collection of standardized data on the topic of drugged driving.”


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About innovation Research & Training


innovation Research & Training (iRT) is a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations. By using evidence-based and culturally sensitive methods, iRT researchers investigate, develop, and evaluate behavioral, educational, psychological, social, and community assessment, prevention and treatment programs and services. iRT’s staff includes experts in basic and applied research in a variety of areas, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth mentoring, social and emotional development, mindfulness education, media literacy education, pregnancy prevention and sexual health, child and adolescent mental health, adult and juvenile justice programs, drug courts, drugged driving, tobacco use and underage drinking.  For more information about iRT, visit www.irtinc.us.

Media Contact

Yvette D. Ruffin, APR yruffin@irtinc.us 919-493-7700