Thursday, January 21st, 2021

NIH initiative targets opioid use disorder

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National Institutes of Health (NIH) personnel have joined other federal entities in outlining support for a $350 million multi-year HEALing Communities Study to address opioid use disorder (OUD) interventions.

The HEALing Communities Study is funded by the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM – which is described as a trans-agency effort to expedite scientific solutions to stem the national opioid crisis.

The analysis is administered in partnership by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of NIH, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The HEALing Communities Study findings would help establish best practices tailored to the needs of local communities for increasing the number of people receiving medication to treat OUD and preventing opioid overdose deaths, reducing high-risk opioid prescribing and creating a model to curb the opioid crisis.

Authorities said an estimated 1.6 million people had OUD in 2019 -and of those – 18.1 percent received medication treatment for opioid misuse.

The HEALing Communities Study provides a unique opportunity to understand the consequences of the intersection of COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic in rural and urban communities – testing the impact of an integrated set of evidence-based practices on reducing opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent in three years.