Rutgers center awarded grant to study opioid use disorder treatment

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A center within Rutgers University in New Jersey has been awarded more than $500,000 to study the effective treatment strategies for medication treatments for opioid use disorder.

Funded by the newly formed Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), the project is one of 19 to receive the organization’s inaugural grants.

The study is a project of the Center for Health Services Research, part of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. The study will look at treatment in primary care settings. Officials say the study is needed in states like New Jersey, where overdose rates continue to grow.

Center Director Stephen Crystal said the $525,000 from FORE 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 said.

The Center was one of 443 organizations in 46 states who submitted applications for the grant funds, FORE said.

“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,” said Andrea Barthwell, M.D., Chair of FORE’s Board of Directors. “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.”

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