Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-18-2022


Background: This project sought to assess needs, perceived challenges, and priorities regarding substance use disorder (SUD) in East Texas and develop a community-driven research agenda to address those challenges. Methods: Data were gathered through nine focus-group discussions (FGDs) with stakeholders: people living with SUD, families, medical providers, counselors, representatives of community-based organizations, and law enforcement officers. We asked participants how substance use manifests in their communities, which challenges they confronted in coping with substance use and misuse, and in which order their needs should be prioritized. Findings were reported at community forums to confirm the list of challenges and prioritize needs. Results: Five themes emerged from the FGDs indicating major challenges: (a) access to SUD treatment and recovery resources, (b) mental health and resiliency, (c) education, training, and professional development to facilitate treatments, (d) care and service coordination, and (e) community/social support for people living with SUD and their families. Conclusions: Significant resources such as financing, collaboration across silos, and community education are needed to effectively manage this public health problem. Our findings can inform research and outreach to help East Texans develop interventions, research programs, and educational opportunities for clinicians, community-based organizations, law enforcement officers, and counselors to build capacity for SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

Persistant Identifier



Permanent Email Address



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.