There are multiple effective evidence-based treatments and programs for opioid use disorder (OUD). Most Americans at risk for or with OUD, however, do not receive appropriate treatment for their disorder. At the same time, opioid overdoses continue to kill thousands of Americans. To better understand how promising and evidence-based strategies and treatments might help more people with OUD, the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, will deploy a suite of implementation science efforts to test the integration of evidence-based interventions in an array of settings.

Research Spotlight

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Illustration depicting the holistic treatment approach of the researchers' project.

Research Spotlight

‘To Walk in the Beauty Way’: Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Native Communities

Research explores the integration of medication-based treatment with the healing traditions of American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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Research Spotlight

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Three women stand next to each other in front of a fence at a horse farm.

Research Spotlight

Could a Telehealth Program Improve Outcomes for Justice-Involved Women?

NIH HEAL InitiativeSM’s research is testing system to link incarcerated women to outside opioid use disorder services before leaving jail.

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Research Programs

The HEALing Communities Study will test the integration of prevention, overdose treatment, and medication-based treatment in select communities hard hit by the opioid crisis. This comprehensive treatment model will be tested in a coordinated array of settings, including primary care, emergency departments, and other community settings. Findings will establish best practices for integrating prevention and treatment strategies that can be replicated by communities nationwide.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will expand the size and scope of research conducted by the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN). This expansion will help address emergent needs presented by the opioid crisis. The CTN will integrate new opioid-related research questions into studies currently underway, expedite new studies in general medical and other settings, and enhance clinical and research training opportunities.

The Justice Community Opioid Intervention Network (JCOIN) will study quality care for opioid misuse and OUD in justice populations. JCOIN will help create partnerships between local and state justice systems and community-based treatment providers. Findings will address the critical need to improve the quality of OUD treatment in the justice system.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will work with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to learn if combining behavioral interventions with medication-based treatment for OUD can lead to better results. Some of the behavioral interventions to be studied include mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and multidisciplinary rehabilitation. Researchers will examine whether these behavioral interventions improve adherence to medication-based treatment, improve outcomes, and reduce relapse. 

Funded Projects

2019
A comparative effectiveness trial of extended release naltrexone versus extended-release buprenorphine with individuals leaving jail
Sep 25, 2019
2019
A Foundation to Examine Reasons for Discontinuation for Buprenorphine Care in the Veterans Health Administration
Sep 25, 2019
2019
A Foundation to Examine Reasons for Discontinuation for Buprenorphine Care in the Veterans Health Administration
Sep 25, 2019
2019
A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders
Sep 25, 2019
2020
Validation of a Community Pharmacy-based Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Risk Screening Tool (PHARMSCREEN)
Mar 19, 2020

Closed Funding Opportunities

2019
Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System: TRIALS (U01)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (UG1)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
HEALing Communities Study: Developing and Testing an Integrated Approach to Address the Opioid Crisis (Data Coordinating Center) (UM1- Clinical Trials Not Allowed)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
HEALing Communities Study: Developing and Testing an Integrated Approach to Address the Opioid Crisis (Research Sites) (UM1 - Clinical Trial Required)
Sep 25, 2019
2019
HEAL Initiative: Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) Methodology and Advanced Analytics Resource Center (U2C Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Sep 25, 2019

NIH establishes network to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings

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NIH. National Institutes of Health

NIH establishes network to improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings

The National Institutes of Health will award 12 grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings nationwide.

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Dr. Baker on the HEALing Communities Study

Director of the HEAL Initiative Dr. Rebecca Baker discusses the HEALing Communities Study on AM 970's The Joe Piscopo Show.

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