Rutgers health center awarded $525K to study treatment for opioid use disorder

Rutgers University‘s Center for Health Services Research announced on Wednesday it has been provided $525,000 in funding to study the treatment of opioid use disorder in primary care settings in New Jersey.

The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts, a national grant-making foundation focused on addressing the opioid crisis, provided backing for the project.

Stephen Crystal, center director, said FORE’s funding will “enable the organization to broaden its ongoing research around the opioid crisis to identify successful provider and payer strategies and disseminate best practices for increasing access to and retention in life-saving treatment.”

“Initiation and long-term retention in evidence-based medication assisted treatment are major challenges in addressing the opioid crisis. This grant will allow us to build actionable evidence to inform policies and clinical interventions that increase access and improve outcomes among people with opioid use disorder,” Crystal added.

Rutgers is one of 19 organizations to receive the foundation’s inaugural grant after being selected out of a pool of 443 applicants across 46 states.

“In 2018, an estimated 130 Americans died every day from an opioid overdose and an estimated 2 million people are currently experiencing opioid use disorder,” Andrea Barthwell, chair of FORE’s board of directors, said. “These initial grants focus on improving access to lifesaving treatment. In the months ahead, we will announce additional funding opportunities that address other aspects of this multifaceted crisis.”