Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health (DASH Center)


Welcome to the DASH Center

The Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health (DASH) is an intergenerational, interprofessional and interdisciplinary center directed by Dr. Sean Esteban McCabe. Based in the School of Nursing, it brings together faculty from health science professions to address clinical, educational, and research issues related to substance use.

The DASH Center is committed to advancing knowledge of substance use and its consequences through pioneering scholarship, evidence-based prevention, innovative clinical training and timely public policy and service. DASH Center scholars recognize that the use, misuse and abuse of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco or nicotine products cause broad-reaching social despair, impaired health, and substance use disorders.

Sexual, ethnic and gender minorities, adolescents, pregnant women, veterans and the elderly are at highest risk for the negative consequences of substance use, including HIV, injury, birth defects, suicide, cancer, and liver disease. These at-risk populations are the primary focus of the DASH Center scholars. 

Follow DASH on Twitter @UMichDASH.


ABC's of Prescription Drug Safety

ABCs of prescription drug safety

The DASH Center has developed a multi-media Toolkit called the ABCs of Prescription Drug Safety to inform patients, and the general public, about the proper use, control, and disposal of prescription medications.

This Toolkit consists of an easy-to-use consumer/patient education pamphlet; a display poster for clinic rooms/other public places; a consumer/patient hand-out; and a short video explaining the core tenets of the ABCs of Prescription Drug Safety.

Learn more about the ABC's of Prescription Drug Safety Toolkit


Affiliated faculty

Affiliated faculty and researchers who join DASH as members have access to resources of the center. This includes access to large conference rooms, classrooms, library and technical support facilities within the University of Michigan School of Nursing. DASH also offers a wide range of research meetings, lectures, seminars, presentations, and workshops focused on substance use topics focused on vulnerable populations. Affiliated faculty also have access to collegial consultation with researchers connected to grant-funded projects housed at the University of Michigan. 

DASH is committed to the training of minority scholars and early and new substance abuse investigators.  

Brooke Arterberry, Iowa State University, Psychology

Elizabeth Austic, Senior Program Manager

Erin Bonar, Psychiatry, Michigan Medicine

Kao-Ping Chua, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Michigan Medicine

Chin Hwa (Gina) Y. Dahlem, Nursing

Angela R. Fernandez, Social Work

Jason Ford, Sociology Department, University of Central Florida

Andria Eisman, College of Education, Wayne State University

Rebecca Evans-Polce, Nursing

Jessica Fish, University of Maryland Public Health

Kristi Gamarel, Public Health

Margaret (Peggy) Gnegy, Pharmacology

Emily Jutkiewicz, Pharmacology

Luisa Kcomt, Nursing

Elizabeth King, Public Health

Yasamin Kusunoki, Nursing

Vita McCabe, Michigan Medicine, Surgery and Psychiatry

Massy Mutumba, Nursing

Quyen Ngo, Butler Center for Research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Yusuf Ransome, Yale School of Public Health

Jennie Ryan, Jefferson College of Nursing

John Traynor, Pharmacology

Ty S. Schepis, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Texas State University

John Schulenberg, Psychology and Institute for Social Research

Clayton Shuman, Nursing

Rob Stephenson, Nursing

Sarah Stoddard, Nursing

Stephen Strobbe, Nursing

Terri Voepel-Lewis, Nursing

Phil Veliz, Nursing

Golfo Tzilos Wernette, Psychiatry, Michigan Medicine

Timothy Wilens, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Former Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Jennie Ryan, Ph.D., CPNP-AC
Dr. Jennie Ryan is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University. She completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Her fellowship was funded by the T32 Complexity: Innovations in Promoting Health and Safety (NR016914). Dr. Ryan’s research training, under the mentorship of Drs. Carol Boyd and Sean Esteban McCabe, focused on the use of large data sets to examine the effects of public policy on public health. She is particularly interested in the effects of cannabis legalization on adolescent health outcomes. As a NIDA Diversity Scholar, Dr. Ryan’s current research focuses on health disparities and the complex interaction of social and environmental factors that influence adolescent substance use. Dr. Ryan has 15 years of clinical experience as a pediatric nurse and nurse practitioner, with expertise in pediatric intensive care and psychiatric nursing. She received her Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. at Villanova University. 

Luisa Kcomt, Ph.D., MSW, BSW
Dr. Luisa Kcomt is a social worker whose research agenda is motivated by over 20 years of clinical and leadership experience. Currently, Dr. Kcomt is an assistant professor at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work in Detroit, Michigan. Her research focuses on substance use, health disparities, and healthcare access among sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic minority populations. Using a social justice lens, her goal is to advance health equity and promote the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Dr. Kcomt was mentored by Dr. Sean Esteban McCabe and Dr. Carol Boyd during her post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health within the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Dr. Kcomt received her Bachelor of Social Work and her Ph.D. at the University of Windsor, and she received her Master of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Expert consultation for the FDA (Terri Voepel-Lewis, Sean Esteban McCabe)

DASH Center faculty have offered their expertise on prescription medication use and misuse to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Terri Voepel-Lewis, Ph.D., RN, a scholar in pediatric pain assessment and management, has provided expert consultation to the FDA Advisory Panel on Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products and served on the Pediatric and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees from 2017-20. DASH Center Director Sean Esteban McCabe, Ph.D., has served as an expert consultant to the FDA since 2016, when he shared his epidemiological findings in prescription drug misuse with regulators to reduce misuse and diversion and promote safer future use of these federally controlled substances.

DASH Workshop

The DASH Center hosts a monthly workshop to review future work of DASH members based on our “lift as you climb” motto. Our interdisciplinary group of nurses, psychologists, social workers, epidemiologists, statisticians and other experts provide constructive criticism and support for new projects, with a focus on securing funding for early stage investigators. Our goal is to collaborate with presenters to present funded projects that improve nursing and the substance use research field. Participants include students, postdoctoral fellows, early stage investigators and seasoned principal investigators from across the country.

Independent study & honors projects

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in substance use research, especially among vulnerable populations, form mentoring relationships with DASH Center faculty on their current projects. Students can learn how to review relevant literature, work in multidisciplinary research teams, submit manuscripts to journals, create research presentations, write about original research and more. The DASH Center encourages students to bring their unique background and research interests into their projects through independent study or School of Nursing honors projects.

A focus on substance use disorders in vulnerable populations

The DASH Center is committed to studying substance use in the populations that are most often negatively affected. DASH Center members have several projects dedicated to this, including health disparities among sexual minorities related to alcohol use disorder, tobacco use disparities among different sexual identities and age groups, and prescription drug misuse among adolescents and young adults. These projects have produced findings that have guided clinical and policy decisions with vulnerable populations.

The Michigan State Police Overdose Fatality Review teams (Gina Dahlem)

The Michigan State Police (MSP), in partnership with the University of Michigan School of Nursing, will develop and evaluate overdose fatality review (OFR) teams in Michigan. The purpose of an OFR team will be to review overdose deaths within each county to: 1. Identify causes and incidences of opioid overdose deaths within the selected counties, 2. Develop recommendations to agencies of each local OFR team to prevent future deaths, and 3. Provide recommendations to the state on how to address the epidemic through the establishment of OFR teams. Project evaluation is led by Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP, with Carol Boyd, Ph.D., RN, FIAAN, FAAN, Robert Ploutz-Snyder, Ph.D., and Eve Losman, MD, of Michigan Medicine. The evaluation will determine the impact of OFR teams on addressing overdose deaths for each county.

Recovery Opioid Overdose Team (Gina Dahlem)

The Recovery Opioid Overdose Team (ROOT) is a coordinated, community-wide, post-overdose intervention team comprised of peer recovery coaches and case management specialists. The purpose of the ROOT team is to engage with overdose survivors after a naloxone reversal to provide recovery support and treatment services. Within 72 hours of the overdose, the ROOT team will engage with the overdose survivor at the hospital or in the community to deliver recovery support, harm reduction services and medical, mental and substance use disorder treatment referrals for up to 90 days post-overdose. Project evaluation, led by Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP, seeks to understand the effectiveness of ROOT in connecting survivors to treatment services and impact on repeat overdoses.

Naloxone training (Gina Dahlem)

In partnership with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, Home of New Vision, Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan and the University of Michigan School of Nursing, a web-based naloxone training was developed for first responders and community laypeople. The online naloxone training aims to increase overdose education and naloxone distribution for anyone who would like to receive training and access to naloxone. To date, over 550 people have been trained through the website.

Michigan Emergency Department Naloxone Project (Gina Dahlem)

The Michigan Emergency Department Naloxone Project is in collaboration with Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC) and Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (MOPEN), which aims to: 1. Increase ED naloxone distribution patients treated for opioid overdose and those at high risk of future overdose and 2. Increase the number of X-waivered providers to prescribe buprenorphine. In our first year of the program, 10 EDs have initiated naloxone distribution program with nearly 1,000 kits distributed. Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP, is a co-investigator on the project and the lead nurse educator for naloxone training across the ED sites. 

Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (Gina Dahlem)

The Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution project is funded through Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan. Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP, provides consultation and naloxone training for Washtenaw, Lenawee, Livingston and Monroe Counties. This includes delivering train-the-trainer courses for community agencies on overdose education and naloxone distribution. 

The ABCs of Prescription Drug Safety (Carol J. Boyd)

Led by Carol Boyd, Ph.D., RN, FIAAN, FAAN, the DASH Center has created an educational brochure and poster to inform patients and families about the proper use, control and disposal of prescription medications. The DASH Center works with community organizations and national groups to distribute these educational materials, as well as videos, to reduce dangerous use and storage of prescription medications in the home.

Tobacco use trajectories and disparities among sexual minorities in U.S. adolescents and adults (Rebecca Evans-Polce)

Rebecca Evans-Polce, Ph.D., combines survey data with biomarker data in her NCI-funded project to study tobacco use trajectories and disparities in sexual minority adolescents and adults. Tobacco use is responsible for more than 480,000 U.S. deaths per year, and sexual minority individuals are at substantially greater risk for tobacco use, tobacco use disorder and negative tobacco-related health consequences. Using the national and longitudinal Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, Dr. Evans-Polce and her team examine detailed tobacco use trajectories across four waves, sexual identity transitions across four waves and prospective links to health outcomes. In addition, her project triangulates both self-report and biological data on stress and health. Dr. Evans-Polce’s project will greatly inform and maximize effectiveness of tobacco regulatory policies, particularly those aimed at reducing the health burden of tobacco use among sexual minorities.

Epidemiology of prescription drug misuse and substance use disorders (Sean Esteban McCabe)

Sean Esteban McCabe, Ph.D., leads a multidisciplinary team from the DASH Center, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Harvard University and Texas State University on an NIH-funded project examining prescription drug misuse and substance use disorder symptoms during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This project indicated that nearly 1 in 3 adolescents in recent cohorts who reported prescription opioid misuse transitioned to any heroin use in adulthood. This finding of increased risk was used by the NIH to support screening for prescription opioid misuse when prescribing opioids. Our project has also found that a history of using prescription benzodiazepines provides clinicians with a signal for substance-related problems during middle adulthood. Finally, this project has led to the development of three NIH-funded interventions, and we were recently invited to submit a FDA application based on findings from this project to help inform prescription stimulant prescribing guidelines.

Optimized interventions to prevent opioid use disorder among adolescents and young adults in the emergency department (Erin Bonar, Maureen Walton, Sean Esteban McCabe, Terri Voepel-Lewis)

Led by DASH members Erin Bonar, Ph.D., and Maureen Walton, Ph.D., MPH, from the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, a NIDA-funded project is testing various digital interventions to find ways to more effectively prevent opioid use disorder in adolescents and young adults. DASH Center leaders Sean Esteban McCabe, Ph.D., and Terri Voepel-Lewis, Ph.D., RN, are co-investigators on this project. Prevention programs such as those tested in this project for adolescents/young adults are needed to alter risk trajectories. Drs. Bonar and Walton and their multidisciplinary team are developing interventions using telemedicine (synchronous video conference) and a patient portal-like messaging system to address risk factors for opioid misuse and opioid use disorder among young emergency department patients.

Selected grants

Over $25 million in federal research and training grants were received by DASH members for substance use research in the past 5 years from the U.S. Department of Justice, NCI, NIAAA, NICHD, and NIDA. A selection of key projects include:

Read about other work on U-M's campus to address the opioid problem. 

Resources for the public

National Institute on Drug Abuse for teens has useful information for parents, families, and kids.

Collaborative Research on Addiction at the National Institute of Health (CRAN) provides information on current interdisciplinary research on addition. 

Local Resources:

24/7 Crisis Hotlines for Addiction & Mental Health

*For Immediate Assistance, Call 911*

Washtenaw Community Mental Health Crisis Hotline - 734-544-3050

U-M Psychiatric Emergency Services - 734-936-5900 or 734-996-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-888-628-9454

LOCAL Online/Virtual Addiction & Recovery Resources

U-M Collegiate Recovery Program provides holistic, tailored support to Michigan students who are in recovery from alcohol or other drug problems. If you are a student in recovery or are curious about recovery, give us a call.

Huron Valley Intergroup provides a list of local AA online meetings

Washtenaw Alano Club provides a wide range of online and face-to-face recovery meetings

Washtenaw Families Against Narcotics provides online meetings and resources for families coping with loved ones who are involved with narcotics including those who have lost loved ones

Washtenaw County Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings lists online and face-to-face AA meetings in Washtenaw county

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Washtenaw County

Online Yoga for Recovery (Y4R) - Washtenaw Families Against Narcotics

Dawn Farm

U-M Addiction Center

National Resources:

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357) - SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline - 1-800-662-HELP (5990) OR text TalkWithUs to 66746

Online/Virtual Addiction & Recovery Meetings-

AAOnlineMeeting - online AA meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous - virtual meetings

International AA Online Meetings (link to online meetings in Europe)

Families Against Narcotics - List of online recovery resources

In the Rooms - Online recovery AA, NA, and other meetings

Narcotics Anonymous - NA meetings online & by phone

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - List of COVID-19 mental health resources

Guidance for People Who Use Substances

COVID-19 Guidance for People Who Use Substances (Yale)

Substance Use & Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

Addiction, Substance Use and Recovery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Online support community for parents & caregivers

Recovery Dharma - List of virtual meetings

Smart Recovery - List of outline/remote meetings and 24-7 message boards

Educational Resources

COVID-19: Accessing Critical Medication Assisted Treatment for Your Loved One

Dealing with Isolation: Northwest Wayne Families Against Narcotics Family Forum Recorded Meeting One-on-One Help to Address Young Person's Substance Use: text, email, or call

In a Time of Disruption, Protecting Your Child from the Risks of Substance Use

Welcoming An Adult Child Back Home Because of COVID-19

6 Alternative Zoom Happy Hour Ideas

Managing Substance Use Disorder During Quarantine Recorded Interview with Dr. Jonathon Morrow

Mental Health Resources

Department of Psychiatry COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Page

Depression Center Toolkit

Suicide Prevention Resource Center: COVID-19 Resources

Taking Care of Family Well-Being

Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation

Recovery Support and Treatment Apps and Resources

Sober Grid allows you to create online profiles and interact, support, and engage with other people in recovery using a platform similar to Facebook. You can also use the app to create anonymous check-ins about whether you’re sober or not, your mood, and what’s going on.

SoberTool is an easy way to track your clean and sober days. The app includes daily motivational messages and reminders to keep you on target

WEconnect provides you with daily reminders to stay on track with your recovery plan. You can create reminders to call your sponsor, go to a group meeting, or meditate—anything you need to provide that extra push.

AA Big Book is an app that gives you access to the full text of the Big Book, along with a meeting finder, podcasts, prayers, and personal stories. You can use the app to bookmark meaningful passages, make notes on individual chapters in the comment section, and search for specific keywords.

12 Step Meditation Daily Reflections for AA, NA, Al-Anon is an app that features hundreds of easy-to-follow guided meditations, as well as soothing music, prayers, and 12-step recovery audio.

I Am Sober tracks your sober days and milestones, build new habits, and enjoy ongoing motivation from a community of people who get it.

Pink Cloud find meetings near you based on your location.

Workit Health provides telemedicine addiction treatment with clinicians, therapists, and coaches over live chat and video.

Further resources for researchers

University of Michigan Addiction Center is housed in the Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network is an effort of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, led by Clifford E. Douglas, J.D. 

Opioid Solutions

Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation