Managing Opioid Misuse and Low-Severity Opioid Use Disorder


There is currently multiple evidence based-strategies for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). And yet, OUD develops over time, beginning with opioid use and misuse below the threshold for the clinical diagnosis for OUD. Historically, low severity opioid misuse, especially in the context of co-occurring pain and psychiatric disorders, has been poorly identified in clinical settings. To understand how to prevent the transition from opioid misuse to more severe opioid use disorder, NIH will develop and test effective intervention strategies for persons with low severity opioid misuse, including patients with pain.

This study will recruit individuals with sub- threshold and low-severity opioid use disorder in general medical settings such as primary or integrated care settings to define, identify, and intervene in the management of opioid misuse. The study will test a model including (1) a practice-embedded nurse care manager who provides patient education and supports the primary care provider (PCP) in engaging and monitoring patients who have unhealthy opioid use; (2) brief advice delivered to patients by their PCP; and (3) counseling of patients by health coaches and mental health providers to motivate and support behavior change.

Supporting NIH Institutes and Centers

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


Dr. Betty Tai

This page last reviewed on August 2, 2019