Addressing the Challenges of the Opioid Epidemic in Minority Health and Health Disparities Research in the U.S. (R01/R21)

Program Description

NIMHD is promoting investigative and collaborative research as well as developmental and exploratory studies focused on determining the mechanisms for variation in the prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). NIMHD is also interested in studies that will help understand and reduce disparities in opioid care in minority health and populations experiencing health disparities. This initiative will seek to identify multi-level intervention strategies at the institutional and systems level for addressing OUD in these populations.

The abuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids is one of the greatest public health threats in the U.S. today. Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and nearly 2.5 million Americans are suffering from opioid addiction related to prescription drugs for chronic pain. OUDs were most common among those who were uninsured or unemployed, were low-income individuals, or had behavioral health problems. Presently, death rates from opioid overdoses in rural areas exceed urban areas and are higher in states with higher opioid prescriptions per capita. These staggering rates are overwhelming families, communities, first responders, and healthcare facilities nationwide, with consequences that could impact generations to come.

Research is needed to understand the sociodemographic, cultural, economic, epidemiologic, and biological factors in opioid care specific to populations experiencing health disparities that increase the risk of OUD; the consequences of OUD; ways to improve resource availability among defined populations experiencing health disparities to reduce opioid treatment gap; and underlying mechanisms for the variation in the prevalence of OUD in populations experiencing health disparities.

NIH Guide No.: PA-18-747 and PA-18-745

Page updated Jan. 12, 2024