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Opioid Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Posted February 11, 2023


NIDA IC Fact Sheet 2023

The National Institute on Drugs and Addiction (NIDA) is the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and its consequences. Its mission is to advance science on drug use and addiction and apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health. After decades of research, addiction is now understood to be a chronic, treatable brain disorder from which one can recover.  NIDA-supported research has led to the development of effective prevention and treatment interventions, providing hope for the millions of people in the United States diagnosed with substance use disorders (SUDs) and their loved ones.


The Addiction Public Health Crisis

  • 20.4 million people in the United States were diagnosed with SUD in 20191

  • In 2019, only 10.3 percent of people with SUD received SUD treatment1

  • Nearly 92,000 people died of drug overdoses in 20202


NIDA’s FY Research Investment

  • 389 Full-time equivalents (FTEs)

  • 291 New research project grants

  • 2231 Unique investigators in FY 2021

  • 79 Early-stage investigators

  • $269M for HEAL research

  • $261M for HIV/AIDS research

  • Basic Neuroscience: Understanding how drugs affect the cells and circuits of the brain, how addiction occurs, and how genes and environment affect the brain

  • Epidemiology: Monitoring emerging trends in drug use

  • Risk and Protective Factors: Identifying the factors that influence drug use, addiction, access to care, and related health outcomes

  • Prevention: Developing and testing approaches to mitigate risk factors, promote resilience, and prevent drug use, addiction, and their consequences

  • Treatment: Developing and testing medications, devices, and behavioral treatments for addiction and its consequences

  • Implementation: Optimizing approaches for scaling up and enhancing access to evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies


Current Activities

  • Mobile health solutions to rectify digital inequity.

      Supporting research to develop mobile health

      technologies specifically designed to ensure access

      by underserved and vulnerable patients affected by

      substance use disorder. 

  • NIH HEAL Initiative®. Administering over $250M/year

      on research to prevent and treat opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose, including studies to                    develop and test new interventions and effective strategies for implementing proven interventions            across settings.

  • Novel medications development. Funding innovative research to develop new medications for substance use disorder and overdose.

  • Harm reduction. Supporting studies to prevent overdose deaths, reduce drug use, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and reduce co-occurring infection.

  • COVID-19 Impacts. Supporting research at the intersection of COVID-19 and substance use disorders to understand how the pandemic and related policy changes are impacting individuals and public health.


Recent Accomplishments

  • Racial Equity Initiative. Established to help eliminate racism and promote diversity in NIDA’s workplace, scientific workforce, and research portfolio.

  • Standard unit of THC for research. Established a standard unit of THC for research in collaboration with other NIH Institutes, which will allow comparison of cannabis intake and its effects across studies.

  • HEALing Communities Study. Despite impacts of COVID-19, deployed a major communications intervention as part of this multisite implementation study across 67 diverse communities in four states.

  • HEAL Prevention. Completed pilot research focused on preventing opioid use in adolescents; the studies are now transitioning to larger trials.

  • Integra mobile van trial. Launched research to test using mobile health units to deliver integrated health services for people with opioid use disorder for HIV and substance use treatment and prevention.

  • Clinical Trials Network. Published research showing that high dose buprenorphine induction in emergency departments is safe and well-tolerated in patients with untreated opioid use disorder.


Future Initiatives

  • Fentanyl research. Funding research to address the urgent need to understand biological mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and best treatment practices for fentanyl addiction and overdose.

  • Integrative Management of chronic Pain and OUD for Whole Recovery (IMPOWR) Network. Establishing a new research network to address co-occurring chronic pain and opioid use disorder by developing effective interventions and sustainable implementation strategies with an emphasis on diverse, vulnerable populations.

  • HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study Phase 2. Starting recruitment of pregnant women for the most comprehensive study of early brain development ever conducted, which will follow women and their children from before birth through early childhood to determine how maternal drug exposure and other factors influence development. 

  • HEAL Prevention and Treatment Research. The HEALing Communities Study, Prevention Studies, and Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network will test strategies to expand effective prevention options, treatments, and care for people with opioid use disorder in community and justice settings.

  • Clinical Trials Network. The CTN will conduct studies of behavioral, pharmacological, and integrated treatment interventions to determine effectiveness across a broad range of settings and populations with a new focus on areas of the country heavily impacted by the opioid crisis through HEAL Initiative funding.



  1. 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

  2. 2020 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER database


Where can I get trained to respond to an overdose?

(Wyoming Department of Health) - Posted July 2021

Training first responders (firefighters, police officers, and EMTs) and bystanders (family, friends, and others) on recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose is essential. Anyone who uses heroin or opioid medication, especially those who have never used or have not used in a while, can be at risk of an overdose. Find out how you can save a life.

How can I get naloxone?

Naloxone is a prescription medication. However, a Wyoming law (Wyoming §§ 35-4-901 through 35-5-906) allows pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to individuals. Anyone can go to a local pharmacy and ask about obtaining naloxone.

First responders may apply to receive grant funding for Narcan® Nasal Spray, currently the only FDA-approved intranasal naloxone. Agencies must obtain a standing order (a prescription from a provider for a group, not an individual) to purchase naloxone. For more information on obtaining a standing order, contact a local medical provider.

To get Narcan® Nasal Spray for your agency or organization through the Wyoming Department of Health, complete the application form. Once your application has been reviewed and funding is available, you will be contacted for more information.

Naloxone Policies and Procedures

The following information is for the administration of Naloxone (NARCAN) in Wyoming as well as other departments around the nation.

Wyoming Policy and Procedure

Norwood Police Department, Massachusetts Policy and Procedure

Kingman Police Department, Arizona Policy and Procedure

What are opioids?

Opioids include three categories of pain-relieving drugs: (1) natural opioids (also called opiates) which are derived from the opium poppy, such as morphine and codeine; (2) semi-synthetic opioids, such as the prescription drugs hydrocodone and oxycodone and the illicit drug heroin; (3) synthetic opioids, such as methadone, tramadol, and fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl analogues, such as carfentanil, can be 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Overdose deaths from fentanyl have greatly increased since 2013 with the introduction of illicitly-manufactured fentanyl entering the drug supply [CDC 2016b; CDC 2018b]. The National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA 2018] has more information about types of opioids.

                                                                               - Centers for Disease Control 


What is the opioid epidemic?

From 1999–2018, almost 450,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids.

This rise in opioid overdose deaths can be outlined in three distinct waves.

  1. The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999.

  2. The second wave began in 2010, with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin

  3. The third wave began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl. The market for illicitly manufactured fentanyl continues to change, and it can be found in combination with heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.

                                                                                       - Centers for Disease Control

Can an opioid overdose be reversed?

An opioid overdose can be reversed with the drug naloxone when given right away. Improvements have been seen in some regions of the country in the form of decreasing availability of prescription opioid pain relievers and decreasing misuse among the Nation’s teens. However, since 2007, overdose deaths related to heroin have been increasing. Fortunately, effective medications exist to treat opioid use disorders including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

A NIDA study found that once treatment is initiated, both a buprenorphine/naloxone combination and an extended release naltrexone formulation are similarly effective in treating opioid addiction. However, naltrexone requires full detoxification, so initiating treatment among active users was more difficult. These medications help many people recover from opioid addiction.

                                                                                                           - National Institute on Drug Abuse


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