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TASC and Addiction Policy Forum Receive NIH HEAL Grant

National initiative will help improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice settings

(Washington, DC) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it will award multiple grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to support research on quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in criminal justice settings nationwide.

Under the administrative leadership of George Mason University, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) and the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) will lead the team charged with stakeholder engagement and research dissemination.

JCOIN is part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis.

"When it comes to bringing addiction recovery research into practice for the justice system, there's never been an effort of this magnitude," said Pam Rodriguez, president of TASC. "We'll be working with a broad network of partners across the country to help ensure that criminal justice practices are informed by the latest research findings, and that findings are translated in ways that are accessible to practitioners. At the same time, we will work to ensure that people and communities affected by the opioid epidemic and by the justice system are heard when it comes to shaping research priorities."

JCOIN will address gaps in OUD treatment and related services in a wide range of criminal justice settings, including jails, courts, policing and diversion, reentry, and probation and parole.

“We are honored to join this distinguished and dedicated group to help improve opioid addiction treatment in criminal justice systems,” said Jessica Hulsey, president of the Addiction Policy Forum. “Translating and disseminating the latest research to stakeholders throughout the criminal justice system will have an enormous impact for not only key stakeholders, but also patients and families affected by addiction.”

Grantees will study and disseminate information on evidence-based medications, behavioral interventions, digital therapeutics, and comprehensive patient-centered treatments in 15 states and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network.

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