Featured Scholar: Dennis P. Watson, PhD
Associate Professor, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
The opioid epidemic has touched every corner of our nation. Decades of scientific evidence demonstrates pragmatic harm reduction approaches (e.g., syringe exchanges, opioid substitution, and naloxone access) are key to more effective opioid-related prevention and treatment, yet wide-held misconceptions regarding substance use and substance users have impeded their impact. These misconceptions are rooted in an ideology of “bootstrap individualism” and popular 12-step/abstinence-only approaches that have little scientific support. Thus, dissemination and implementation of scientific findings into opioid-related policy and practice is of critical importance.
Dr. Dennis Watson’s work in this area developed from his professional interests in mental health, substance use, and community need for research. In collaboration with Dr. Bradley Ray, his projects examine the opioid epidemic in Indiana. This includes three federally-funded evaluation studies of different Indiana-based prevention and treatment efforts and a study of the implementation and effectiveness of an emergency department-based intervention for connecting opioid overdose survivors to medication-assisted treatment. A major focus of his current work is ensuring effective communication of results to community members, advocates, and legislators, through his work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers
Dr. Watson’s work to disseminate and implement scientific findings into opioid-related policy and practice in Indiana is another example of how IUPUI faculty are TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.
Selected Publications in IUPUI ScholarWorks
With several research works contributed to IUPUI's free, open access repository, Dr. Watson has made translational research knowledge available to professionals, researchers, students, and communities around the world.
Ray, B., Quinet, K., Dickinson, T., Watson, D. P., & Ballew, A. (2017). Examining Fatal Opioid Overdoses in Marion County, Indiana. Journal of Urban Health, 94(2), 301–310. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/13165
Fowler, N. R., Frame, A., Perkins, A. J., Gao, S., Watson, D. P., Monahan, P., & Boustani, M. A. (2015). Traits of patients who screen positive for dementia and refuse diagnostic assessment. Alzheimer's & Dementia : Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 1(2), 236–241. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/9170
Ray, B., Grommon, E., Buchanan, V., Brown, B., & Watson, D. P. (2015). Access to Recovery and Recidivism Among Former Prison Inmates. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 0306624X15606688. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/6986
Watson, D. P., & Rollins, A. L. (2015). The Meaning of Recovery from Co-Occurring Disorder: Views from Consumers and Staff Members Living and Working in Housing First Programming. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-15. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/6065
Filippelli, G., Johnson, D., Wiehe, S., Watson, D. (2014, April 11). Center for Urban Health: Enhancing the health of cities by focusing on communities and the environment. Poster session presented at IUPUI Research Day 2014, Indianapolis, Indiana. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5142
Watson, D. (2013, April 5). Evaluation of Indiana Access to Recovery. Poster session presented at IUPUI Research Day 2013, Indianapolis, Indiana. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5470
Watson, D. P., Wagner, D. E., & Rivers, M. (2013). Understanding the critical ingredients for facilitating consumer change in Housing First programming: A case study approach. The journal of behavioral health services & research, 40(2), 169-179. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5065
Watson, D. P., Orwat, J., Wagner, D. E., Shuman, V., & Tolliver, R. (2013). The housing first model (HFM) fidelity index: designing and testing a tool for measuring integrity of housing programs that serve active substance users. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 8(1), 16. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5062
Watson, D. P. (2012). From Structural Chaos to a Model of Consumer Support: Understanding the Roles of Structure and Agency in Mental Health Recovery for the Formerly Homeless. Journal of forensic psychology practice, 12(4), 325-348. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5063
Watson, D. P. (2012). The Evolving Understanding of Recovery What Does the Sociology of Mental Health Have to Offer?. Humanity & society, 36(4), 290-308. http://hdl.handle.net/1805/5064