More than 50,700 Americans died of opioid overdose in 2019, and more than 1.6 million Americans live with addiction to opioids. Moreover, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and of those, 25 million live with daily chronic pain and lack effective and safe non-opioid options for pain management. The Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, is a trans-NIH research effort focused on improving prevention and treatment for opioid misuse and addiction and enhancing pain management. This presentation will describe the purpose of the NIH HEAL Initiative and describe how it is organized and being implemented utilizing a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach. An update on progress to date and future plans will also be addressed.
1. Understand the extent of the U.S. opioid epidemic and how widespread use of prescription opioids and the lack of effective pain treatment fueled the crisis
2. Explain what the NIH HEAL Initiative is and how it is addressing unmet research needs to curb the opioid crisis
3. Describe the six major research priority areas that make up the NIH HEAL Initiative