NIH announces awards for behavioral research on OUD prevention and treatment

  • Posted on: 22 September 2018
  • By: Shalini.Sharma

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Six research awards totaling $9.4 million over three years will study the impact of behavioral interventions for primary or secondary prevention of opioid use disorder (OUD), or as a complement to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of OUD.

Researchers will examine whether select behavioral interventions such as mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, or multidisciplinary rehabilitation improve adherence to and retention in MAT or reduce resumption of drug use in individuals with OUD.

In addition to support from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), funding for these awards will come from the National Institutes of Health’s HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative. All six grants will be administered by NCCIH.

This grant program supplements a $1 billion initiative from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis Grants initiative, also known as Opioid STR grants.

As part of the 21st Century Cures Act, Opioid STR grants have been distributed to all 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories, and free-associated states to expand access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery support services; reduce unmet treatment needs; and help to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

The six research awards will examine the impact of behavioral and complementary health interventions within the context of states’ plans for use of Opioid STR grant funds. As such, each of the funded research projects includes relevant state agency staff to ensure adequate input on study design from the SAMHSA-funded projects.

As phased innovation awards, the first phase of these grants will support the development of preliminary data and feasibility studies. The second phase is designed to support conduct of the research study after an administrative review with attention to whether milestones have been met.

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