The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, supports a wide range of programs to develop new or improved prevention and treatment strategies for opioid addiction. Program goals include:

  • Preventing individuals with low-severity opioid use disorder (OUD) from developing a more serious OUD
  • Building strategies to keep people in medication treatment for opioid addiction
  • Understanding the role of sleep dysfunction in OUD and recovery
  • Stopping at-risk adolescents from developing OUD
  • Exploring collaborative care for people with OUD and mental health conditions

Research Programs

Collaborative care has been shown to be effective for treating mood and anxiety disorders, but more research is needed to demonstrate its usefulness for OUD. Researchers will test the adaptation, effectiveness, adoption, scalability, and sustainability of collaborative care for individuals with OUD and co-occurring mental health conditions using integrated treatment models in primary care settings.

Older adolescents and young adults are at the highest risk for opioid initiation, misuse, OUD, and overdose fatality. A series of studies will develop and test strategies for preventing opioid misuse and addiction in at-risk older adolescents and young adults in a variety of health care settings. The studies will build on research models that have successfully addressed alcohol consumption in this population.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will support research using genomic, molecular, pharmacological, and clinical approaches to better understand sleep and circadian factors relevant to addiction and how these factors influence one another. This research could open new avenues for therapeutic strategies, OUD prevention, and treatment approaches.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will support research to define the optimal length of FDA-approved medication treatments for OUD, methadone and buprenorphine, taking into account various patient populations and treatment settings.

The Subthreshold Opioid Use Disorder Prevention (STOP) Study will help researchers better understand how to define, identify, and intervene in the management of opioid misuse among individuals with low-severity OUD in primary care settings.

Funded Projects

2021
Optimized Interventions to Prevent Opioid Use Disorder among Adolescents and Young Adults in the Emergency Department
Sep 25, 2021
2021
Development of a Novel Chemokine Receptor Antagonist as a Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Sep 25, 2021
2021
Preventing Substance Misuse and Substance Use Disorder by Examining Service Provider Interactions, Discrimination, Ethnic Identity, Sexual Orientation Identity, and Housing First Outcomes
Sep 25, 2021
2021
The Role of Family Functioning and Race/Ethnicity on the Efficacy of an Opioid Misuse Prevention Videogame Intervention for Adolescents
Sep 25, 2021
2021
Supporting Treatment Access and Recovery for Co-Occurring Opioid Use and Mental Health Disorders (STAR-COD)
Sep 20, 2021

Closed Funding Opportunities

2021
HEAL Initiative: Data and Methods to Address Urgent Needs to Stem the Opioid Epidemic (R01- Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Dec 20, 2021
2021
HEAL Initiative: Exploratory Data and Methods to Address Urgent Needs to Stem the Opioid Epidemic (R21- Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Dec 20, 2021
2020
Notice of Special Interest(NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Social Network Analyses to Reduce American Indian and Alaska Native Opioid Use Disorder and Related Risks for Suicide and Mental Health Disorders
Feb 06, 2020
2020
Notice of Special Interest: HEAL Supplements to Improve the Treatment and Management of Common Co-occurring Conditions and Suicide Risk in People Affected by the Opioid Crisis
Feb 05, 2020
2019
Wearable to Track Recovery and Relapse Factors for People w/ Addiction (R43/R44)
Sep 25, 2019