Altoona criminal justice student co-authors article about substance-abuse issues

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ALTOONA, Pa. — Payton Perry, a senior majoring in criminal justice at Penn State Altoona, recently co-authored the article “First Responders’ Views of Naloxone: Does Stigma Matter?”, published in Substance Use & Misuse, a medical journal covering substance-abuse issues. The article is Perry’s third publication as a student at Penn State Altoona.

Perry is a member of the Integrated Social Science Research Lab (ISSRL) and completed the work under the supervision of lab co-director Nathan E. Kruis, assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State Altoona. The paper is part of a larger project aimed at examining provider-based stigma as a barrier to effectively responding to the opioid epidemic in the criminal justice system. Perry co-authored the article with Kruis, Kate McLean, associate professor of administration of justice at Penn State Greater Allegheny, and Marielle Nackley, a graduate student at Slippery Rock University and eighth-grade English teacher at Claysburg-Kimmel High School.

“As an undergrad student, conducting this research gave me perspective on the importance of studying topics within the criminal justice system that have immediate real-world implications,” Perry noted. “I cannot express how grateful I am to have been a part of the ISSRL. I encourage all students to get involved with research.”

Kruis commented, “Our findings demonstrate a clear relationship between the stigma of opioid disorder and negative perceptions of the use of Naloxone as treatment in professional interventions.”

According to Kruis, these findings align with those from Kruis’ earlier published work showing that the stigma of opioid use is inversely related to perceptions of medication-assisted treatment and the level of care police officers were willing to provide to persons who experience an opioid overdose.

The Integrated Social Science Research Lab is also co-directed by Nicholas J. Rowland, professor of sociology. The ISSRL is made possible by Penn State Altoona's Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Science, headed by Leigh Ann Haefner, and is embedded in the criminal justice and sociology programs coordinated by Mary Ann Probst and Karyn McKinney-Marvasti, respectively.