NIH HEAL Initiative Seeks Input


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published a Request for Information (RFI) on the future of its Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative. The purpose of this RFI is to understand how scientific research can address the urgent public health challenges of opioid use disorder (OUD), overdose, and chronic pain. The RFI’s final response date is July 31, 2024.

The HEAL initiative began in response to the opioid overdose crisis. In 2022, over 75% of the 107,000 drug overdose mortalities in the United States involved an opioid. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl and increasing co-use of stimulants and opioids have contributed substantially to these overdoses. Responses to this RFI must be submitted to with "HEAL RFI" in the subject line. The RFI welcomes a wide range of perspectives with respect to:

  • OUD and overdose research not already captured in NIDA’s strategic plan;
  • Research focused on addressing unmet pain management needs; and
  • Interdisciplinary research on OUD/overdose and pain management.

For a better understanding of how substance use disorders can be treated via integrated behavioral health, refer to the Academy’s topic brief, The Role of Low-Threshold Treatment for Patients with OUD in Primary Care. For more information or resources related to opioid use, see the Academy’s Literature Collection and Substance Use Tools and Resources.