Khary Rigg, PhD

CPHI Adjunct Fellow

Title: Assistant Professor, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida


Public Health Interests:

Prescription Drug Abuse/Diversion; HIV Prevention/Treatment; Disparities in Health /Healthcare

Current Public-Health Related Activities:

Khary Rigg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy within the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at University of South Florida. He received his PhD in medical sociology from University of Miami and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health services research at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as senior research associate on 5 NIDA funded grants with a particular focus on prescription drug abuse and HIV prevention. His research intersects the fields of behavioral health, medicine, and public health, and focuses on improving interventions to prevent and treat mental and substance use disorders. His research focuses on a variety of vulnerable populations including adolescents, military veterans, treatment populations, and racial/ethnic and sexual minorities.

His substantive foci fall into 4 main areas:

  • The prevention and treatment of prescription drug abuse;
  • The epidemiology and prevention of drug-related HIV transmission;
  • The patterns and consequences of mental health(care) disparities;
  • The development of culturally relevant approaches to intervention.

Dr. Rigg's work has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Drug & Alcohol Dependence, Journal of Community Psychology, Prevention Science, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Military Behavioral Health, and International Journal of Drug Policy. He was recently honored for his research accomplishments by being selected as a 2013 AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholar. He is also on the editorial boards of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and Substance Use & Misuse.

Dr. Rigg is currently the PI of a University of South Florida funded project looking at MDMA (ecstasy/molly) use among African-Americans, and its connection to sexual risk taking. He also has other ongoing projects investigating prescription drug-related issues including: (a) explaining ruralurban differences in prescription opioid misuse, (b) identifying risk factors for prescription opioid misuse among racial/ethnic minorities, (c) predicting the transition from prescription opioid misuse to heroin use, and (d) establishing a link between obesity and different types of anti-depressant use.

Select Publications:

Rigg, Khary and George Wilson. "Is Patient-Physician Race Concordance Important for African-American HIV Patients? Evidence, Insights, and Implications" (Forthcoming in African-American Perspectives: Family Dynamics, Health Care Issues, and the Role of Ethnic Identity)

Rigg, Khary, Steven Kurtz, and Hilary Surratt. 2012. "Patterns of Prescription Medication Diversion among Drug Dealers." Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 19(2), 145-155.

Rigg, Khary and Gladys IbaƱez. 2010. "Motivations for Non-Medical Prescription Drug Use: A Mixed Methods Analysis." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 39(3), 236-247.

Rigg, Khary, Samantha March, and James Inciardi. 2010. "Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion: Role of the Pain Clinic." Journal of Drug Issues, 40(3), 681-702.