NIH Study Aims to Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths by 40 Percent in Three Years

emergency room doctors hospital hallway

The National Institutes of Health will fund a study aimed at reducing opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent in three years, The Washington Post reports. The study will be conducted in four states hard hit by the opioid crisis.

The study, which will cost $353 million, will test evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions, such as distributing naloxone to reverse overdoses, and linking people in the criminal justice system with treatment for opioid addiction.

The study will be conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University and Ohio State University. Each site is partnering with at least 15 communities. Researchers will track the communities’ success in reducing the incidence of opioid use disorder; increasing the number of people receiving medication-based treatment; increasing treatment retention beyond six months; providing recovery support services; and expanding the distribution of naloxone.

How to Use Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Save Lives

A variety of drugs and drug combinations carry the risk of fatal overdose. Emergency protocol for any suspected overdose includes calling 911. However, in the case of opioids, which includes heroin and prescription pain medications like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) can reverse an overdose, potentially saving a loved one’s life.

How to Respond to Overdose with Naloxone - Narcan