HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study Kickoff Meeting


Chicago, Illinois


Michelle Freund

Meeting Summary

With an initial investment of $500 million appropriated by Congress in FY2018 and a similar investment in FY2019, The NIH HEAL InitiativeSM is a trans-NIH effort to advance national priorities in addressing the opioid crisis through research on opioid misuse, addiction, and pain. Participating institutes are concentrating on two broad categories of research: one focused on pain therapies and management, and the other focused on opioid misuse, opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose. The HBCD Study falls into a subcategory of the OUD approach called “Enhanced Outcomes for Affected Newborns,” along with the Advancing Clinical Trials in Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal (ACT NOW) longitudinal project. The HBCD Study receives half of its financial support from the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM and half from NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices interested in development. 

Incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) increased by approximately 433 percent between 2004 and 2014. To address this important issue, the HEAL Initiative supports research to generate knowledge and address the needs of infants and children affected by opioid exposure. 

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