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HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative

Overview

In April 2018, NIH launched the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative will bolster research across NIH to:

  • Improve Treatments for Opioid Misuse and Addiction
    More than 2 million Americans have OUD. Millions more misuse opioids, taking opioid medications longer or in higher doses than prescribed. NIH will support research to provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of opioid misuse and addiction, that will help people with OUD achieve and maintain a meaningful and sustained recovery.
  • Enhance Pain Management
    More than 25 million Americans suffer from daily chronic pain. NIH will support research to understand how chronic pain develops, making patients susceptible to risks associated with opioid use. NIH will work with partners from the biopharmaceutical industry to develop a data sharing collaborative, new biomarkers for pain, and a clinical trials network for testing new pain therapies. NIH will also enhance the pipeline of treatments for pain and enhance clinical practice for pain management.

NIMH’s Role in the HEAL Initiative

In response to this initiative, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in partnership with other NIH Institutes, proposes research to adapt collaborative care – a specific service delivery model for treating mental/behavioral health conditions in primary care settings – to meet the needs of individuals with opioid use disorders (OUDs) and co-occurring mental health conditions. Hybrid effectiveness-implementation clinical trials are envisioned to develop, optimize, and test collaborative models that offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for OUD alongside indicated treatment for mental health conditions frequently encountered in primary care such as mood and anxiety disorders.

NIMH-Supported NIH HEAL Initiative Projects

NIMH supports the following NIH HEAL-related projects:

Learn More

For additional information on the HEAL Initiative at NIMH, please contact Megan Kinnane at megan.kinnane@nih.gov. For general inquiries about the HEAL Initiative, please contact HEALquestion@od.nih.gov.

Additional Resources

News and Features

Last Revised: December 2018