HEALing Communities Study
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.
About the Program
NIH and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched the HEALing Communities Study to investigate how tools for preventing and treating opioid misuse and OUD are most effective at the local level.
This multi-site implementation research study will test the impact of an integrated set of evidence-based practices across health care, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings. The goal of the study is to reduce opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over the course of three years. Research sites are partnering with 67 communities highly affected by the opioid crisis in four states to measure the impact of these efforts.
The study will look at the effectiveness of coordinated systems of care designed to increase the number of individuals receiving medication to treat OUD, increase the distribution of naloxone, and reduce high-risk opioid prescribing. The study also supports harm reduction research to investigate the effectiveness of rapid-acting fentanyl test strips in modifying drug use behaviors and exploring drug checking needs in clinical settings.
To date, through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, NIH has awarded $343.7 million to fund a coordinating center and research in four states.