Rural communities have been disproportionately impacted by the overdose epidemic in the United States and we are committed to working together to find solutions that are appropriate for rural areas. We believe that through collaboration, we can elevate the voices of rural communities and scientists.

The overall goal of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Rural Special Interest Group (SIG) is to facilitate research on service delivery and outcomes among individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) that reside in rural areas. The long-term goal is to improve the implementation of empirically-based SUD services in rural communities. Our current members are geographically dispersed and represent the heterogeneity of rural areas from Appalachian, to frontier regions, the plains and the southwest, as well as the northwest. Our monthly meetings include discussion of opportunities to collaborate on research projects or publications and we often have guest speakers that present their recent research findings or novel approaches to service delivery that are relevant to rural communities. Our meetings also include an opportunity for small group networking among Rural SIG members.


  • Erin Winstanley, PhD, West Virginia University [hyperlink to email: erin.winstanley@hsc.wvu.edu]
  • Amanda Bunting, PhD, New York University [hyperlink to email: amanda.bunting@nyulangone.edu]

Meeting Times

Third Tuesday of the Month, 1-2pm EST

Who Can Become a Member of the Rural SIG

  • The Rural SIG welcomes members of the CTN and the greater rural research community to discuss emerging topics and concerns related to rural substance use at monthly meetings.
  • Members do not need to be affiliated with a CTN node.
  • Members attend as their schedule permits, you do not have to attend every meeting to be a member.
  • To join the Rural SIG please contact Erica Longenecker (erica.longenecker@mail.wvu.edu)

Presenting at a Rural SIG Monthly Meeting:

The Rural SIG welcomes guest presenters, that may or may not be affiliated with the CTN or the SIG. Please contact one of the Co-Chairs if you’d like to present at an upcoming Rural SIG meeting.

How the Rural SIG Can Help:

  • If you are looking for someone who has research or clinical expertise on drug use or SUDs in rural communities, please contact the Rural SIG chairs for a recommendation.
  • If you are looking for someone to collaborate on a conference presentation, research project or publication, we can help!