Open Funding Opportunities
Meaningful engagement of populations experiencing pain and opioid use disorder is essential for HEAL research. These research efforts are developed in the context of individual studies, settings, and patient populations to enhance engagement of patients, communities, and other stakeholders – as well as to improve recruitment, retention, and inclusion of participants from racial and ethnic minority populations.
A diverse, dedicated, and sustainable research workforce is needed to address the evolving opioid and pain public health challenges. System-wide barriers limit the availability of scientists and clinicians to understand, treat, and prevent complex conditions like chronic pain, opioid use disorder, and overdose – and, increasingly, the common use of multiple drugs. Comprehensive, patient-centric research training is especially important since most individuals with pain, addiction, or both have co-occurring conditions such as mental illness.
Sharing, integration, and dissemination of HEAL data and findings is a critical goal of the initiative. Research leverages and integrates diverse data streams (such as from health records, mortality records, and pharmacy dispensing databases) and tools to provide the most accurate, real-time assessments of the opioid crisis and its changing dynamics.
The synthesis and real-world application of existing data has the potential to guide and monitor improvements in service delivery to prevent or treat opioid use disorder and pain. HEAL research in the Data2Action program will address gaps in the delivery of evidence-based practices in each of the four pillars of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Overdose Prevention Strategy: primary prevention, harm reduction, treatment of opioid use disorder, and recovery support.
Stigma occurs at many levels affecting people with opioid use disorder or chronic pain and can prevent people from seeking and receiving treatment. This research is finding solutions to mitigate stigma in its many forms toward improving health and preventing unnecessary deaths from overdose.
This research invests in small businesses developing therapies and technologies to enhance non-opioid pain management as well as to prevent, diagnose, and treat substance use disorders. These efforts can span the entire spectrum of strategies from medications to devices and digital solutions, and include data analysis, information technology, and educational or training materials.