Addressing the Challenges Posed by the Opioid Epidemic in Health Disparity Populations

Council Date: September 8, 2017


This initiative will support research to understand and address disparities in prevention and treatment of opioid abuse in minority and health disparity populations.

Description of Initiative

This initiative will support multidisciplinary research projects that examine the following: sociodemographic, cultural, economic, and biological factors specific to minority and health disparity populations that increase risk of opioid misuse; the consequences of opioid misuse in these populations beyond the immediate effects of opioid addiction; methods to address opioid treatment gaps (i.e., access to Medication-Assisted Treatment); and underlying mechanisms contributing to the variation in the prevalence of opioid misuse in minority and health disparity populations. Areas of research interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Addressing disparity in access to treatment, including improving strategies to increase prevention, outpatient mental health, recovery, and peer recovery services in rural settings.
  • Supporting community strategies to address the opioid epidemic; and community collaborations and partnerships that address the root causes of the opioid epidemic.
  • Assessing the impact of misuse, including clinical outcomes, economic consequences, and the effects on social services and the criminal justice system.
  • Determining the long-term outcomes in opioid-dependent newborns.
  • Identifying factors leading to increased opioid misuse.