Preventing Opioid Use Disorder
The Research Need
Effective prevention strategies can reduce the likelihood that individuals who may experience risk for substance use begin misusing opioids or develop opioid use disorder. There is a need for prevention interventions that can be delivered in systems and settings that reach populations most affected by the opioid crisis, as well as a need for interventions that address social determinants of health. Challenges implementing, scaling up, and sustaining prevention interventions make it difficult for organizations and public systems to provide access to prevention services for all who might benefit.
About the Program
This program strives to generate science that will, ultimately, enable health care organizations and public systems to make evidence-based, community-informed, sustainable preventive intervention services available and accessible to all people at risk for opioid and other substance misuse or use disorders.
The research supported through this program addresses four strategic areas: identifying risk; studying the role of social determinants and policy, particularly their impacts on health equity; developing effective interventions; and supporting research toward disseminating and implementing sustainable, scalable prevention services.
This research focuses on underserved populations that experience health disparities. Funded projects are testing interventions in settings such as the justice system, homeless shelters, the child welfare system, emergency departments, and community health centers. The program also addresses social determinants of health, examining the impact of structural, systemic, and policy interventions on opioid misuse by targeting inequities, social risk, and/or social disadvantage.
To date, through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, NIH has contributed $63.8 million to fund 41 awards.
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