What is the NIH HEAL Initiative?

What is the NIH HEAL Initiative?

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, is an aggressive, trans-agency 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 is funding hundreds of projects nationwide. Researchers are taking a variety of approaches to tackle the opioid epidemic through:

  • Understanding, managing, and treating pain
  • Improving treatment for opioid misuse and addiction
Learn about the initiative

How HEAL Research is Addressing Physical and Emotional Pain

There are two key opportunities for HEAL research to address the nexus of mental health, pain, and addiction: (i) prevention and (ii) enhanced care coordination.

Read the Director’s Message

Latest Research Spotlight

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man wearing an exosuit to help with low back pain

Latest Research Spotlight

A Wearable Device Helps Make Back Pain Bearable

“Artificial muscle” may help prevent back problems

Read the Spotlight

Research Priorities

In 2018, NIH, in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, identified a set of research priorities reflecting urgent unmet needs across the lifespan, areas of promising scientific opportunity, and concrete strategies capable of providing rapid and durable solutions to the opioid crisis.

Through evidence-based scientific research, the NIH HEAL Initiative will provide lasting, scientific solutions to the opioid crisis.

Funded Research Focus Areas

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A group of people holding hands

Funded Research Focus Areas

Through the initiative, NIH supports research to enhance pain management and improve treatment for opioid misuse and addiction. The initiative includes research focus areas led by most NIH ICs supporting hundreds of projects that reflect the full spectrum of research from basic science to implementation research.

Find information on funding for the initiative