HEALing Communities Study


The HEALing Communities Study will generate evidence about how tools for preventing and treating opioid addiction are most effective at the local level. The National Institutes of Health, together with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has launched this multisite implementation research study to test the impact of an integrated set of evidence-based interventions across healthcare, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings. The goal is to prevent and treat opioid misuse and opioid use disorder (OUD) within highly affected communities in four states and reduce opioid related deaths by 40 percent over three years. Each site is partnering with at least 15 communities to measure the impact of these efforts.

The Study will also look at the effectiveness of coordinated systems of care designed to reduce overdose fatalities and events; decrease the incidence of OUD; increase the number of individuals receiving medication to treat OUD, retained in treatment, and receiving recovery support services; and increase the distribution of naloxone.


The HEALing Communities Study will provide funding to four academic institutions, in partnership with local community-based organizations. Grants were awarded to:

  • University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • Boston Medical Center, Boston
  • Columbia University, New York City 
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus 

RTI International, based in North Carolina, will serve as the study’s coordinating center, and will be responsible for data analysis, health economics research, and widespread dissemination of research findings over the course of the study.

Supporting NIH Institutes and Centers

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)



Dr. Redonna Chandler

This page last reviewed on June 21, 2019