Participant FAQs and Resources

Learn more about your role as a participant in this research study by reviewing the questions below.

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Project FAQ for Participants

What is HEROIC?

This study will compare client outcomes between an opioid intervention court and a traditional drug court. 

Who is funding this study?

This study is being funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Who is conducting this research?

This is a co-PI award to:

  • Linda S. Kahn, PhD, professor, University at Buffalo Primary Care Research Institute, Family Medicine 
  • Gregory G. Homish, PhD, professor and chair, University at Buffalo Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

How do I know if I’m eligible?

If you are interested, we invite you to take our screening form to determine your eligibility. Call us (716) 829-6806 or email us at to commence the screening process. 

What types of questions are you asking in the HEROIC study?

Each assessment session will include multiple questionnaires that cover the following topics: we will ask you to report on your physical and emotional well-being at the current time as well as changes in health and health behaviors over time. These items include asking about your substance use and mental health. Family, living conditions and social connectedness are important factors in the treatment process for many individuals; therefore, the HEROIC study will also be examining issues related to family, living conditions and others (for example, how satisfied are you with your personal relationships).  

How many assessments are there?

There are five assessments in total over the course of one year. The first survey (i.e., baseline) will take place shortly after screening after screening. Follow up surveys will occur every three months (3, 6, 9, 12 months).

Will I get paid?

  • First computerized assessment: $50 loaded onto a Visa prepaid debit card.
  • Second computerized assessment: (3 months into the study): $65 loaded onto a Visa prepaid debit card.
  • Third computerized assessment: (6 months into the study): $75 loaded onto a Visa prepaid debit card. 
  • Fourth computerized assessment: (9 months into the study): $85 loaded onto a Visa prepaid debit card.
  • Fifth computerized assessment: (12 months into the study): $95 loaded onto a Visa prepaid debit card . 
  • If you participate in each of the five assessments involved in this study, you will be paid a total of $370. Payment is in the form of a loadable Visa prepaid debit card.

Where do the assessment sessions take place?

You can complete the surveys in one of two ways. The first is online through a secure web portal. The survey link will be sent to you. Additionally, you can complete the surveys at UB’s South Campus. We will schedule an appointment for you to come to South Campus (3435 Main St., Buffalo, N.Y., 14214). You will be required to provide your own transportation to all questionnaire sessions that take place every three months. No direct reimbursement for transportation costs will be provided; however, you will be compensated for your time (see question “Will I get paid?” above).

How do the assessments work?

If you come to the University at Buffalo, you will be asked to complete the questions on a computer in a private room. You do NOT need computer experience. A research staff member will teach you how to use the computer. All questions and responses will be entered into the computer to ensure your privacy.  

If you complete the surveys via the web, please follow the instructions that are sent to you. You will be provided a link with these instructions. You can then access the survey and complete it at your convenience.  You do not need to complete the entire survey during one session.

How are my responses kept confidential?

The confidentiality of your data is of utmost importance. All researchers involved in this study are trained in confidentiality before starting the project.   The information you give us will be stored on password-protected computers in password-protected files. No identifying information will be included in the questionnaire. Your questionnaire will include only an ID number. Our computer systems have several layers of built-in security procedures to protect your information.   

Will court officials know what I told you?

No, we will not share your individual responses with the court system. 

Since you are interested in my health, will you be accessing my medical records?

We will not be accessing any information from your medical records. 

What happens if during the study, I relapse?

Once you are enrolled in the study, your participation is valued and desired regardless of any possible relapse.

What happens if during the study, I fail to complete a survey?

Once you are enrolled in the study, your participation is valued and desired regardless of previous responses. If you miss a survey, please reach out to the HEROIC team. 

Do I have to complete every assessment?

In order for our research to be the most successful and for us to address our goals of understanding the impacts of drug court systems on physical and mental health, we ask that participants complete all assessments. We know this may seem like a lot, but the assessments are spread out over intervals of several months.  

What if I don’t want to answer a question?

That’s okay. You have the right to refuse to answer any question you choose. 

What if I no longer wish to participate?

You can decide to end your participation at any point. If you decide to end your involvement, our project director may call you to find out why. It is important for us to understand the reasons why you no longer wish to participate. We want to make sure you are treated respectfully throughout your time in the project. If you have concerns or had a negative experience, we want to know about it so that we can address it. 

What if I'm already involved in a research study?

Our study isn’t connected with any other, and you are eligible to join ours even if you are enrolled in another study. We do not share your information with anyone, including other research projects. 

What will you do with the results? Will my name be released?

All the responses are stored in a database that contains ID numbers. Your name is not stored with your survey responses and will not be connected to the data. We only report trends that are common across many participants; we never report responses from any one participant. We will present our findings at national conferences and in medical journals where health care providers, policy makers and other researchers can learn ways to better provide care.  

Can I learn of the results?

Yes. The principal investigators, who are responsible for conducting the research, plan to share the results with participants through yearly newsletters. 

Participant Resources

We have developed a comprehensive list of health and human service-related providers of substance abuse, advocacy or supportive counseling services as a reference for participants in the HEROIC study.

Contact Us!

Call us at (716) 829-6806 or email us at If a research staff member is away from their desk, please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you shortly.