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The Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment

College of Public Health




The ETSU Prescription Drug Abuse/ Misuse Working Group is an interdisciplinary team comprised of ETSU faculty from all five of the Colleges within the Academic Health Sciences Center and other departments and colleges across campus, medical doctors, nurses, pain specialists, anti-drug coalitions leaders, ETSU students and research assistants, treatment professionals, leaders from the non-profit sector, and many others.

The PDAM Working Group recognizes that the Prescription Drug Epidemic, like any public health challenge, is multi-faceted and requires a a comprehensive analysis and action plan.

The PDA/M Working Group has developed a long-range vision for a Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention at ETSU. In 2012 the Working Group met regularly to develop research, training, service and development projects that would grow into such a Center. Their work resulted in a large-scale NIDA proposal that was funded on the first attempt in 2013. It is the ETSU Diversity-promoting Institutions Drug Abuse Research Program (DIDARP): Inter-professional Communication for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention in Appalachia (R. Pack, PI). This funding supports training and mentorship of students and faculty while executing the three research projects listed below:

  • Project 1: Health Care Provider Communication and Prescription Drug Abuse. (N. Hagemeier, PI).
  • Project 2: Patient-Provider Communication to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse. (R. Pack, PI)
  • Project 3: Analysis of Controlled Substance Donations via DEA-Sanctioned Drug Take Back Events and Drug Donation Boxes in Central Appalachia. (J. Gray, PI)

The work is conducted within the Appalachian Research Network (AppNET), a Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)-funded, rural Appalachian Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN). AppNET currently has 17 clinic groups with approximately 51 physician providers and 32 mid-level providers participating in AppNET activities. AppNET research efforts currently involve working with member clinics on their medication reconciliation process to reduce adverse medication events, and developing an automated clinic data mapping system that will provide individual clinics with clinical quality improvement data. AppNET infrastructure is being expanded to include community pharmacies and local health departments in the region. This expansion is necessary to facilitate collaborative project activities that would not be possible without this infrastructure. Also, this expansion maximizes the potential of past and future investments in the regional PBRN infrastructure. To the best of our knowledge, this infrastructure unique in the national landscape of PBRNs.

For more information, contact Angela Hagaman at

Sam Pettyjohn

Sam Pettyjohn

Doctoral Graduate Assistant, Community and Behavioral Health


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