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Martha Tillson

Martha Tillson is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), a research data analyst at the University's Center on Drug and Alcohol Research/Substance Use Priority Research Area, and a trainee under the NIDA-funded JEAP Initiative to support early-stage researchers pursuing NIH funding focused on recovery support services. Her research centers on women's gendered experiences of substance use/misuse and related risks, with a focus on factors and services that support women's recovery/remission, particularly at community reentry post-incarceration. This work is motivated and informed by her academic background in psychology and social work, lived experience, and desire to reduce stigma and drug-related harms.

Selected Publications:

Webster, J. M., Dickson, M. F., Tillson, M., & Staton, M. (2022). Impaired driving and other health risk behavior among rural justice-involved women. Journal of Addictive Diseases. Advance online publication.

Tillson, M., Fallin-Bennett, A., & Staton, M. (2022). Providing peer navigation services to women with a history of opioid misuse pre- and post-release from jail: A program description. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 6(1), E106.

Dir, A. L., Tillson, M., Aalsma, M., Staton, M., Staton, M., & Watson, D. (2022). Impacts of COVID-19 at the intersection of substance use disorder treatment and criminal justice systems: Findings from three states. Health & Justice, 10, 25.

Tillson, M., Dickson, M. F., Webster, J. M., & Staton, M. (2022). Community relationship quality and reincarceration following rural drug-using women's reentry from jail. Criminal Justice and Behavior, advance online publication.

Studts, C., Tillson, M., Pike, E., & Staton, M. (2021). Adaptation of the NIDA Standard for delivery via Facebook with justice-involved women in rural Appalachia. Implementation Research and Practice, 2, 1-12.

Calvert, J. M., Dickson, M. F., Tillson, M., Pike, E., & Staton, M. (2021). Rural reentry and opioid use: Identifying health-related predictors of relapse among formerly incarcerated women in Appalachia. Journal of Appalachian Health, 3(3), 22-35.

Staton, M., Tillson, M., & Webster, J. M. (2021). A description of COVID-19 lifestyle restrictions among a sample of rural Appalachian women. Journal of Appalachian Health, 3(1), 4-17.

Pike, E., Tillson, M., Staton, M., & Webster, J. M. (2021). The role of law enforcement officers in responding to the opioid epidemic: A qualitative assessment. Substance Abuse, e-pub ahead of print,

Staton, M., Webster, J. M., Leukefeld, C., Tillson, M., Marks, K., Oser, C., Bush, H. M., Fanucchi, L., Fallin-Bennet, A., Garner, B. R., McCollister, K., Johnson, S., & Winston, E. (2021). Kentucky Women’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN): A type 1 effectivenessimplementation hybrid trial to increase utilization of medications for opioid use disorder among justice-involved women. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, e-pub ahead of print,

Staton, M., Dickson, M. F., Tillson, M., Leukefeld, C., Webster, M., Knudsen, H. K., & Oser, C. (2020). A preliminary examination of substance use risk among metropolitan and non-metropolitan girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 29(1), 46-57.

Webster, J. M., Tillson, M., Dickson, M., & Staton, M. (2020). Impaired driving among rural female drug-involved offenders. Traffic Injury Prevention, 21(8), 513-520.

Smith, K. E., Tillson, M. D., Staton, M., & Winston, E. M. (2020). Characterization of diverted buprenorphine use among adults entering corrections-based drug treatment in Kentucky. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Available at:

Pike, E., Tillson, M., Webster, J. M., & Staton, M. (2019). A mixed-methods assessment of the impact of the opioid epidemic on first responder burnout. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Available at:

Staton, M., Dickson, M. F., Tillson, M., Webster, J. M., & Leukefeld, C. (2019). Staying out: Reentry protective factors among rural women offenders. Women & Criminal Justice, 29(6), 368-394. Available at:

Tillson, M., Staton, M., Strickland, J. C., & Pangburn, K. (2019). An examination of the age of substance use onset and adult severity of use among offenders entering treatment. Journal of Drug Issues, 49(2), 238-252. Available at:

Dickson, M. F., Staton-Tindall, M., Tillson, M., Leukefeld, C., Webster, J. M., Oser, C. B. (2018). The Affordable Care Act and changes in insurance coverage and source of health care among high-risk rural, substance-using, female offenders transitioning to the community. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 29(3), 843-863. Available at:

Staton, M., Ciciurkaite, G., Oser, C., Tillson, M., Leukefeld, C., Webster, M, & Havens, J.R. (2018). Drug use and incarceration among rural Appalachian women: Findings from a jail sample. Substance Use & Misuse, 53(6), 931-941. Available at:

Staton, M., Ciciurkaite, G., Havens, J.R., Tillson, M., Leukefeld, C., Webster, M., Oser, C., & Peteet, B. (2018). Correlates of injection drug use among rural Appalachian women. Journal of Rural Health, 34, 31-41. Available at:

Tillson, M., Strickland, J. C., & Staton, M. (2017). Age of first arrest, sex, and drug use as correlates of adult risk behaviors among rural women in jails. Women & Criminal Justice, 27(5), 287-301. Available at:

Staton, M., Strickland, J.C., Tillson, M., Leukefeld, C., Webster, M., & Oser, C. (2017). Partner relationships and injection sharing practices among rural Appalachian women. Women’s Health Issues, 27(6), 652-659. Available at: