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Welcome to the Addiction Science, Practice, Implementation, Research, and Education (ASPIRE) Lab, where we are motivated to improve services for people who use drugs through research, community partnership, and sustainable changes in practice and policy. 

The ASPIRE Lab strives to engage in community-informed research to enhance research-informed practice. To that end, we work in close partnership with grant teams within the Missouri Institute of Mental Health’s (MIMH) Addiction Science unit and associated community collaborators to enhance the research rigor of multiple service and implementation-focused grant programs. (Check out current projects within the MIMH arm of Addiction Science here!) Broadly, we aim to better understand and improve the effectiveness of programs related to harm reduction training and supply distribution and substance use treatment service delivery across the state of Missouri. 

Our program of research includes the following areas of focus:

  • Identifying and reducing barriers to evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders, particularly medical treatments (like buprenorphine and methadone) for opioid use disorder 
  • Expanding access to naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and other harm reduction tools to improve community members' ability to prevent, recognize, and respond to overdose events 
  • Evaluating and demonstrating community needs and disparities in access to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery support services and advocating for enhanced implementation of true person-centered care
  • Understanding differences in views toward drug use and related programming across multiple levels and actor groups - individuals who use drugs, healthcare providers, policy makers, and the general public

At present, we are particularly interested in breaking down and addressing attitudinal and structural stigma toward people who use drugs (i.e., Conditional Stigma) and the life-saving services designed to help them (i.e., Intervention Stigma) and have a number of projects in motion to better understand and address these nuanced constructs. 

Dr. Winograd will be not accepting any graduate students in the ASPIRE Lab for the 2024-2025 academic year. She strives to maintain a lab full of critical thinking, engagement, exploration, and togetherness. To contact us, email Dr. Rachel Winograd at rachel.winograd@umsl.edu

Rachel Winograd