SAMHSA grant to fund 3-year substance abuse, sexual health initiative

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
November 5, 2015

The Texas State University Department of Communication Studies has been awarded a grant of approximately $900,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement programming for at-risk young adults to better understand the link between increased substance abuse and sexual health risks.

This three-year initiative is titled Sexual Health Assessment and Risk Education (SHARE), and will focus on high-risk communities, specifically the LGBTQIA and veteran populations. Through SHARE, students will receive educational programming, services, and training about substance use and how it is related to unintended sexual health issues, such as HIV and viral Hepatitis.

“We have a great opportunity to expand education and services using these new resources,” said Melinda Villagran, Ph.D., principal investigator and chair of the Department of Communication Studies. “Through SHARE, we are aiming to limit the negative effects of alcohol and substance use among college students.”

Melinda Villagran will be carrying out this collaborative initiative with the help of two co-investigators, Marsha Burney and Lt. Col. (ret.) Paul Villagran. Burney, lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, will act as the program coordinator for the LGBTQIA community while Villagran, lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will focus his attention on the veteran student population in the city.

Additionally, SHARE intends to partner with SM Nightlife, owner of four popular establishments in the San Marcos Square including Stonewall Warehouse, Black Rabbit Saloon, Shade Rooftop and the Barfish Lounge.

To keep updated on the SHARE project, visit