Opioids & Substance Use

The AHRQ Academy provides information to support those who are implementing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder in primary care settings.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Initiative   

Noninvasive Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review

AHRQ published a systematic review of the literature that aims to assess which interventions for selected chronic pain conditions are associated with improvement in function and pain outcomes.

Rural Health Strategy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s proactive strategy to increase access to and improve the quality of healthcare for people living in rural areas. Read the full report.

CMS Roadmap To Address the Opioid Epidemic (PDF—282.3 KB)

CMS published a roadmap outlining their three-pronged approach to combating the opioid epidemic, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and data utilization.

Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic, and the Child Welfare System: Key Findings From a Mixed Methods Study (PDF—204.2 KB)

This study from the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) examines the impact of substance use on child welfare systems.

FDA Approves First Medication To Manage Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride), a medication to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.

Opioid Dependence: Developing Buprenorphine Depot Products for Treatment

The FDA announced the release of a draft guidance (PDF—86.6 KB) intended to encourage the development of new medications for use in MAT for opioid use disorder, specifically sustained-release “depot” buprenorphine products.

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps: Fighting the Opioid Crisis Before and After Hours

This blog from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) describes the important role of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in combatting the opioid epidemic in communities around the nation.

NIH Launches HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-Term) Initiative

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, announced the HEAL Initiative, which increases funding for research on the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder and chronic pain.

Tools & Resources

Search and Rescue

This website from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides tools and resources about prescription drug misuse and abuse to support healthcare providers and their patients.

Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Crises and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy (PDF—9 MB)

This report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust highlights the need for a National Resilience Strategy that addresses the factors that lead to substance misuse, abuse, and suicide. This Issue Brief Update (PDF—872.4 KB) to the original report describes the increase in deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide.

Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment (P-COAT)  (PDF— 699.4 KB)

This report from the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Medical Association describes an overview of the P-COAT Alternative Payment Model.

Remaining Optimistic When Treating OUD Can Be Challenging

This video from the Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) discusses the importance of provider optimism when providing substance use treatment.

Addressing Clinicians' Concerns About Adding OUD Treatment

This video from PCSS addresses provider’s concerns and hesitation to offer MAT for opioid use disorder.

The Opioid Crisis: Treating Addiction and Saving Lives

This webinar from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation examines ways to expand access to evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder. Read the accompanying fact sheet, The Opioid Crisis at a Glance.

The Opioid Crisis: Understanding Pain and Preventing Opioid Misuse

This webinar from the NIHCM Foundation describes strategies to prevent opioid use disorder, including prescribing guidelines, collaborative partnerships, pain management alternatives, and education.

Research Findings

Buprenorphine Use and Spending for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment: Trends From 2003 to 2015

This study in Psychiatric Services examines trends in buprenorphine prescriptions and expenditures among privately insured adults.

Association of Mental Health Conditions and Treatments With Long-Term Opioid Analgesic Receipt Among Adolescents

This study in JAMA Pediatrics finds that adolescents with co-occurring mental health conditions were more likely to transition to long-term opioid therapy from initial opioid receipt than those without these conditions. Read the accompanying editorial.


Visit the events calendar to find webinars, conferences, and workshops related to opioid use disorder and substance use.


Integrating Infectious Disease Considerations With Response to the Opioid Epidemic: A Workshop

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the recordings and presentations from their public workshop on the impact of the opioid epidemic on infectious disease.

Meeting the Opioid Challenge: Getting Naloxone to Those Who Need it Most

This blog from Health Affairs discusses the importance of increasing access to naloxone to counteract opioid overdoses. 

Addressing Data and Information Gaps Contributing to Opioid Use Disorder

This policy brief from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation recommends policy measures to facilitate the exchange of data and information and to help coordinate responses to the opioid epidemic.

Suicide: A Silent Contributor to Opioid-Overdose Deaths

This editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the need to address the role suicide plays in opioid-overdose fatalities.

Strategies for Reducing Opioid-Overdose Deaths — Lessons From Canada

This editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights actions taken and policies implemented by the Canadian government to decrease opioid overdoses.


Explore the archived opioids and substance use news and resources: