NIH funds study in four states to reduce opioid related deaths by 40% over 3 years

NIH is launching a more than $350 million study that aims to substantially reduce opioid overdose deaths in four states hit hard by the opioid crisis.

NIH is launching a more than $350 million study that aims to substantially reduce opioid overdose deaths in four states hit hard by the opioid crisis. The study, conducted in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has set a goal of lowering overdose deaths by 40% over 3 years in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. HHS Secretary Alex Azar explained, "The HEALing Communities Study is an exciting, unprecedented effort to support communities in using and expanding our scientific understanding of effective interventions. It is a major new step in local and national efforts that are beginning to turn the tide on this public health crisis." For the study, grant awards were issued to the University of Kentucky, Lexington; Boston Medical Center, Boston; Columbia University, New York City; and Ohio State University, Columbus. Each site will work with at least 15 communities to assess the effects of integrating evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions across primary care, behavioral health, justice and other settings in hard-hit parts of the United States. The HEALing Communities Study will track communities as they reduce the incidence of opioid use disorder (OUD), increase the number of individuals receiving medication-based treatment for OUD, increase treatment retention beyond 6 months, provide recovery support services, and expand the distribution of naloxone.