NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Researchers at the University of New Mexico are working on new ways to help people suffering from chronic pain and opioid addiction. Typically, the two are studied separately but researchers with the university’s Center on Alcohol, Substance use and Addictions got a $10 million grant to study both. That includes creating a new center called UNM Impowr.

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The center will research nonmedication treatments for patients with chronic pain and opioid addiction. Another trial will focus on Indigenous communities. “So our research is going to explicitly target American Indian, Alaskan natives because they haven’t been studied and what we’re trying to understand is, both the rates of chronic pain in native Indian and Alaskan natives, as well as how to engage them in treatment,” said Katie Witkiewitz, regents professor of psychology at UNM.

They hope to begin those projects next year.