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HEAL initiative focuses on decreasing opioid use disorder

October 09, 2019 Washington — The National Institutes of Health announced Sept. 26 it has awarded $945 million across 41 states through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative.

The Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or HEAL, is an agency-wide effort focused on improving treatments for chronic pain, decreasing the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieving long-term recovery from opioid addiction, NIH said in a news release.

“It’s clear that a multi-pronged scientific approach is needed to reduce the risks of opioids, accelerate development of effective non-opioid therapies for pain and provide more flexible and effective options for treating addiction to opioids,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who launched the initiative in 2018. “This unprecedented investment in the NIH HEAL Initiative demonstrates the commitment to reversing this devastating crisis.”

Examples of how the HEAL program is approaching the opioid crisis from across NIH include:

• Translating research to practice for the treatment of opioid addiction.
• Implementing new strategies to prevent and treat opioid addiction.
• Conducting clinical research in pain management.

For more information about the HEAL program and awards, visit