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Papers: 12 Sep 2020 - 18 Sep 2020


2020 Sep

Am Psychol



Guest editorial: Psychologists aim to HEAL the opioid and pain crises.


Wandner LD, Aklin WM, Freed MC
Am Psychol. 2020 Sep; 75(6):866-868.
PMID: 32915029.


The opioid and pain crises affect every domain of family and community life with two million Americans living with opioid addiction, and 46,802 people dying from opioid overdoses in 2018 alone (National Center for Health Statistics, 2019). In addition, over 50 million Americans experience chronic pain, and half of those people suffer from chronic pain daily. Opioids are widely used to treat acute and chronic pain, and the lack of widespread access to nonpharmacological strategies to manage pain has contributed to the misuse of opioids. In fiscal year 2018, Congress added $500 million to the NIH's base appropriation to generate scientific solutions to the opioid and pain crises in America. The result was the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, a bold transagency effort. The authors of this editorial-psychologists in leadership roles in three NIH institutes- highlight several investments of the NIH HEAL Initiative, note the role of psychologists involved in HEAL, and describe the unprecedented steps the NIH is taking to harmonize data and rapidly and widely disseminate HEAL findings. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).