OHSU awarded $3 million federal grant for overdose prevention research

PORTLAND, Ore. – Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden
announced in a joint statement that Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)
is expected to receive $3.17 million over five years from the National
Institutes of Health (NIIH) to study the effectiveness of different harm
reduction strategies at preventing overdoses and ways to expand access to these
services for “diverse” communities.

“The impact of the opioid crisis across Oregon’s
communities is immeasurable,” said Senator Merkley. “This grant to
OHSU to study overdose prevention will have a big impact in our continued fight
to beat this epidemic-especially for Oregon’s rural communities and communities
of color. I will keep working to deliver resources, solutions, and support to
address the needs of those suffering and their communities.”

“Far too many Oregonians and their loved ones know the
anguish and danger of opioid use,” Wyden said. “These federal
resources earned by OHSU will put the powers of research and science to good
use, providing the opportunity to bring relief to communities under assault
from this life-and-death epidemic. And I’ll continue battling on every front to
reduce opioid abuse and addiction throughout Oregon.”

OHSU’s study will evaluate two interventions—contingency
management, an evidence-based behavioral intervention for the treatment of a
variety of substance use disorders; and the identification of personal
harm-reduction goals with peer support—at community-based organizations in
rural Oregon, with the goal of increasing the availability and effectiveness of
harm reduction services.

This NIH grant is one of ten funding projects nationwide and
is provided through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative,
which aims to speed scientific solutions to stem the nationwide opioid public
health crisis.

For more information about the NIH HEAL Initiative, visit
their website.