From 2004 to 2014, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome increased fivefold among infants covered by Medicaid in 46 states. Finding the best approaches to address the medical and social needs of these children — from the newborn period to adolescence — is critical for the future health of the country.

Open Funding Opportunities

2022
HEAL Initiative: Opioid Exposure and Effects on Placenta Function, Brain Development, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
Aug 29, 2022
2022
HEAL Initiative: Opioid Exposure and Effects on Placenta Function, Brain Development, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Aug 29, 2022
2022
HEAL Initiative: Opioid Exposure and Effects on Placenta Function, Brain Development, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (R21 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
Aug 29, 2022
2022
HEAL Initiative: Opioid Exposure and Effects on Placenta Function, Brain Development, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Aug 29, 2022
2022
Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Biospecimen Collection in Pregnancy
Aug 22, 2022

Research Programs

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, supports an expansion of the Advancing Clinical Trials in Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (ACT NOW) study. ACT NOW aims to inform clinical care for infants born with opioid withdrawal syndrome. In this phase, ACT NOW will conduct clinical trials to determine best clinical practices. This includes assessing both drug-free treatment approaches and currently used medications. 

The HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study will establish a large cohort of pregnant women from regions of the country significantly affected by the opioid crisis. The study will follow them and their children for at least 10 years. Understanding changes in brain and behavioral development resulting from early exposure to opioids will inform precision prevention for substance use disorders and mental illness.

Funded Projects

2021
Administrative Supplement for ACT NOW OBOE Longitudinal Study
Oct 11, 2021
2021
Administrative Supplement to Increase Participant Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement in the ACT NOW OBOE Study
Sep 25, 2021
2021
Incorporating nonpharmacologic approaches into a comparative effectiveness pharmacologic trial for neonates with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS)
Sep 22, 2021
2021
4/6 HBCD Prenatal Experiences and Longitudinal Development (PRELUDE) Consortium
Sep 20, 2021
2021
14/24 The Healthy Brain & Child Development National Consortium
Sep 20, 2021

Closed Funding Opportunities

2021
HEAL Initiative: HEALthy Brain and Child Development Data Coordinating Center (U24)
Jan 11, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: HEALthy Brain and Child Development Consortium Administrative Core (U24 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jan 11, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: Data Coordinating Center for the Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Pharmacological Treatments Comparative Effectiveness Trial (U24 Clinical Trial Required)
Jan 11, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (Collaborative U01- Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jan 11, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (U01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Jan 11, 2021

Addressing the impact of opioids on women and children

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AJOG. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Addressing the impact of opioids on women and children

Women and children bear a substantial part of the burden of opioid overuse in the United States. Opioid use during pregnancy can lead to neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, and both the mothers and babies may be at higher risk of opioid use and its consequences later in the life course, setting up intergenerational cycles of opioid overuse.

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