Native Collective Research Effort to Enhance Wellness (N CREW) Program: Addressing Overdose, Substance Use, Mental Health, and Pain
The Research Need
NIH held Tribal Consultations in 2018 and 2022 to seek input on research needs for addressing opioid misuse and improving pain management in Native communities. Many themes emerged, including the importance of Indigenous Knowledge and local expertise, and the need to invest in research and data led by Tribes and Native American Serving Organizations (T/NASOs). In direct response to priorities identified in Tribal Consultations, the N CREW Program is a highly collaborative partnership between NIH, T/NASOs, and Ally Organizations established to directly respond to the opioid/drug public health emergency.
About the Program
The N CREW Program supports T/NASOs to conduct locally prioritized research to address overdose, substance use, and pain, including related factors such as mental health and wellness. Research led by Native communities is essential for enhancing culturally grounded, strengths-based, effective, and sustainable intervention strategies, ultimately promoting healthy equity.
The N CREW Program has three main goals:
- Support T/NASOs to lead community prioritized research projects, including research elevating and integrating Indigenous Knowledge and culture.
- Enhance capacity within T/NASOs to conduct locally prioritized research, by developing and providing novel, accessible, culturally grounded technical assistance and training, resources, and tools.
- Improve access to and the quality of data on substance use, pain, and related health and wellbeing factors to maximize their potential for use in local decision-making.