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What is the NIH HEAL Initiative?

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is an NIH-wide effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Almost every NIH Institute and Center is accelerating research to address this public health emergency from all angles.

The initiative funds over 1,000 projects nationwide. Researchers are taking a variety of approaches to address the opioid epidemic through:

  • Understanding, managing, and treating pain
  • Improving prevention and treatment for opioid misuse and addiction

Advancing Scientific Knowledge About the Opioid Crisis

The public health crisis of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose in America continues to evolve rapidly and overlaps with other significant public health challenges, including untreated chronic pain and mental illness.

The NIH HEAL Initiative is using an all-hands-on-deck approach to address these challenges. The initiative brings together scientists, community members, the private sector, and multiple levels of government – all sharply focused on ending the opioid crisis.

U.S. map labeled projects under way in all 50 states and in tiles are 2.5 billion in research, 1,000 research projects, 42 research programs, and more than 100 funding announcements since 2018


The public health crisis of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose in America continues to evolve rapidly.


The Opioid Crisis

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and increasing co-use of stimulants and opioids are currently driving the opioid and overdose crisis. Pain contributed to the opioid crisis and people living with pain need effective, non-addictive pain treatments.

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NIH HEAL Initiative Leadership

Meet the committees, scientists, and staff who are working to end opioid use disorder long-term.

Meet HEAL Leadership

Latest Spotlight

Research Snapshot: New Survey Enables Incorporation of Personal Preferences in Treatment for Chronic Low Back Pain

HEAL researchers develop roadmap for personalized chronic pain treatments based on patient preferences

Read the Spotlight

Explore Research, Data, and Funding

Find information for funding, create and submit a data management plan, research programs details and contacts, and research findings.

opioid and pain researcher using microscope


Learn about HEAL research programs, funding opportunities, and read Research Spotlights.

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screen labeled scientific community with icons labeled search, analyze, collaborate, and discover


All HEAL researchers must comply with HEAL’s data sharing policy and create and submit a data management plan. All HEAL data must be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR –  see HEAL Data Sharing Policy).

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opioid crisis and pain researchers analyzing data


Search for HEAL open funding opportunities and research concepts, review past funding opportunities, and search currently funded projects.

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News and Findings From NIH HEAL Initiative Opioid and Pain Management Research

Learn more about how HEAL’s research is addressing unmet needs to the nation’s pain and opioid use disorder problem with scientific and strategic opportunities and solutions.

Publications and Data

See research results and data from the initiative and learn more about the HEAL Data Ecosystem.


News and Events

Stay informed about the latest news, events, and initiative activities.

News and events

Making a Difference

Read research findings that are making a difference to people’s lives across America through strong partnerships with federal agencies, the private sector, research institutions, and communities.

Research findings