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Abenaa Jones
Abenaa Jones
Assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Health and Human Development
Summary Statement

Jones' work addresses the syndemic of substance use disorders, violence, sexual risk behaviors, and HIV/STIs, as well as evaluation of structural and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing substance use and associated harms.

  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
  • Graduate Program
  • Research
  • Family Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • Intervention and Prevention
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  • B.S., 2012, Public and Community Health, University of Maryland
  • Ph.D., 2016, Epidemiology, University of Florida
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Office Address
218 Health and Human Development Building
Additional Websites

My current work focuses on the opioid epidemic and examines racial differences in opioid overdose educational training and administration of overdose reversal drugs, and the prevalence of opioid use in inner cities and racial/ethnic differences in opioid use. My current work also expands to treatment for opioid use disorder among women involved in the criminal justice system. The current projects include 1) conducting interviews with criminal justice-involved (CJI) women, criminal justice professionals, and clinicians who specialize in MAT to expand our understanding of factors that facilitate cessation and associated health/behavioral outcomes among opioid-dependent women, and 2) developing and implementing an intervention to reduce opioid dependency among criminal-justice involved women by increasing access and retention to medication-assisted treatment and trauma-informed care.

My earlier work delved into the intersectionality of substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS, termed the SAVA syndemic among women in drug courts, an alternative to incarceration program. The various studies I have conducted illustrated the prevalence of violence and risky sexual behaviors among women who use substances as well as: 1) evaluated the longitudinal trends of the SAVA syndemic over time among women involved in the criminal justice system; 2) assessed the utility of a peer-partnered case management intervention versus a standard intervention in reducing SAVA over time; 3) used latent variable analysis to identify subgroups of women within the criminal justice system based on behavioral profiles and evaluated whether changes in drug use, sexual behaviors, and victimization differed by such groups, 4) examined SAVA at baseline and future criminal charges (felonies, misdemeanors, and municipal violations), and 5) determined the effect of race, markers of socioeconomic status (i.e., education and unstable housing) on SAVA over time.

Professional Experience
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Drug Dependence Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University

Selected Awards

  • 2009 Ronald E. McNair Scholar’s Program, University of Maryland
  • 2011 Ronald E. McNair Ambassador Scholarship
  • 2011 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
  • 2011 Jerry P. Wrenn Scholarship Recipient
  • 2011 Central Scholarship Bureau Scholarship Recipient, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2012 McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, University of Florida
  • 2014 Primm-Singleton Minority Travel Award, NIDA
  • 2015 University of Florida Doctoral Support Award
  • 2016 NIDA Women & Sex/Gender Junior Investigator Travel Award, NIDA
  • 2016 Dean’s Nominee for Research Excellence
  • 2017 NIDA Director’s Travel Award to CPDD, NIDA
  • 2017 Best Poster Award, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2018 CPDD Media Forum
  • 2018 Abstract of Distinction, Society for Prevention Research
  • 2019 Opioid Overdose Working Group Travel Award, Bloomberg American Health Initiative
  • 2019 NIDA Diversity Scholar, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Grants and Research Projects
  • 2020 K01DA051715-01 (Role: PI) Opioid Use Disorder among Criminal Justice- Involved Women: Integrating Trauma-Informed and Gender-Specific Care with Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • 2019 R01 DA040488-04S1 (PI: Carl Latkin, Role: Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • 2017 NIH T32DA007292 Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training Program (DDET)
  • 2012-2016 McKnight Doctoral Fellowship

View a complete list of published work in my bibliography.

  • Jones AA, Schneider KE, Brighthaupt SC, Johnson JK, Linton SL, Johnson RM. Heroin and nonmedical prescription opioid use among high school students in urban school districts. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Dec 1;205:107664. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107664. Epub 2019 Oct 25. PubMed PMID: 31707272.
  • Dayton L, Gicquelais RE, Tobin K, Davey-Rothwell M, Falade-Nwulia O, Kong X, Fingerhood M, Jones AA, Latkin C. More than just availability: Who has access and who administers take-home naloxone in Baltimore, MD. PLoS One. 2019;14(11):e0224686. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224686. PubMed PMID: 31697736
  • Brighthaupt SC, Schneider KE, Johnson JK, Jones AA, Johnson RM. Trends in Adolescent Heroin and Injection Drug Use in Nine Urban Centers in the U.S., 1999-2017. J Adolesc Health. 2019 Aug;65(2):210-215. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.03.026. PubMed PMID: 31331542.
  • Jones AA, Gerke T, Striley CW, Osborne V, Whitehead N, Cottler LB. A Longitudinal Analysis of the Substance Abuse, Violence, and HIV/AIDS (SAVA) Syndemic among Women in the Criminal Justice System. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2019 Jan-Mar;51(1):58-67. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2018.1562132. PubMed PMID: 30626264
  • Jones AA, Gerke T, Striley CW, Whitehead N, Osborne V, Cottler LB. One Step at a Time: A Latent Transitional Analysis on Changes in Substance Use, Exposure to Violence, and HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors among Female Offenders. Am J Crim Justice. 2018 Sep;43(3):471-485. doi: 10.1007/s12103-017-9419-1. PubMed PMID: 30220837
  • Jones AA, Dyer TV, Das A, Lasopa SO, Striley CW, Cottler LB. Risky sexual behaviors, substance use, and perceptions of risky behaviors among criminal justice involved women who trade sex. Journal of drug issues. 2018 August; 49(1):15-27. doi: