The Institute of Research Education and Services of Addiction (IRESA) of the Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine primary purpose is to promote and develop research, education and services in the drug addiction field in Puerto Rico and in the Hispanic/Latino community in the United States of America. Established in 1992, formerly Center for Addiction Studies, it has conducted an array of initiatives on evaluation of services, substance abuse treatment and outreach services, criminal justice, homelessness, and HIV prevention programs.
In the Scientific, Educational, and Service field, IRESA has contributed in the following areas:
- Epidemiologic surveillance of drug use among public and private school students.
- Epidemiologic surveillance of HIV among drug users
- Develop intervention models to reduce HIV risks and promote access and continue substance abuse treatment among drug users
- Present data on prevalence of drug use, the correlations and consequences to strengthen education and intervention on substance abuse.
- Develop publications and presentations related to Hispanic/Latino drug use and abuse.
- Design continuing education curricula for multidisciplinary personnel who offer treatment in substance abuse and dependence.
- Offer a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling and a Master’s Degree in Health Science in Substance Abuse Counseling, first Academic Program in Substance Abuse in Puerto Rico.
- Establish a designing and developing unit for educational materials in Spanish and English to meet the needs to promote and disseminate scientific knowledge in the Substance Abuse field.
- Conduct training and technical assistance to professionals in the Substance Abuse field.
- Establish demonstration projects using evidence based and promising practices in substance abuse treatment services.
- Establish linkages and collaborative agreements with substance abuse treatment programs and ancillary supporting services for drug users
- Design intervention manuals and service protocols using evidence based and promising practices addressing the Hispanic/Latinos culture.