Evidence-Based Interventions

The following resources describe evidence-based interventions that can be used to address the opioid epidemic.

From the War on Drugs to Harm Reduction, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, December 2020.

  • This document outlines recommendations for the use of opioid funds on a broad range of solutions across areas like health care, mental health, housing, employment, child welfare, and criminal justice. These recommendations are centered on two key principles: (1) supporting the full range of care, services, and support for people who use drugs and people with opioid dependence, and (2) rethinking prevention to address the underlying determinants of opioid use and dependence.

Evidence Based Strategies for Abatement of Harms from the Opioid Epidemic, Coordinated by Richard Frank, Harvard University, Arnold Ventures, November 2020.

  • This report gives specific suggestions to local governments on how best to apply settlement funds to address the opioid epidemic. This list provides evidence-based abatement options, describes the infrastructure and context required to successfully implement such efforts, and gives existing evidence about the potential impact of each option.

Bringing Science to Bear on Opioids, Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health, November 2019.

  • This report outlines various strategies to address the opioid crisis using the opioid settlement state revenues including: improving evidence and data collection capabilities, combating stigma, drastically increasing access to medications to treat opioid use disorder, implementing harm reduction programs, furthering research and evaluation efforts, and making policy changes. The authors emphasize that this epidemic must be addressed by many parties: governments, industry, academia, health care professionals, and other sectors.

Opioid Settlement Priorities, Addiction Solutions Campaign, May 2018.

  • This document outlines evidence-based policies and programs for states to consider in the use of the opioid settlement monies. The authors identify three main impact areas: (1) Enhance public and professional education and combat stigma; (2) Enact effective prevention and early intervention programs to reduce incidence of opioid misuse, OUD, and overdose; and (3) removing barriers to access to evidence-based treatment.

Addressing Access to Care in the Opioid Epidemic and Preventing a Future Recurrence, American Psychiatric Association, American Society for Addiction Medicine, and other groups, April 2020.

  • This white paper outlines three problems in the opioid crisis and three key strategies to address them: (1) increasing the substance use disorder and mental health workforce; (2) promoting and encouraging the use of clinical best practices; and (3) enforcing mental health parity and consumer protection laws at the state level.

• Drugs at Work: What Employers Need to Know, National Safety Council

  • This website provides employers with several resources offering more insight into the effects of opioid use on the workplace and how investing in care for employees can be beneficial for both workers and the company. 

• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center.

  • This federal website “provides communities, clinicians, policy-makers and others with the information and tools to incorporate evidence-based practices into their communities or clinical settings.”

Curated Library about Opioid Use for Decision-makers (CLOUD).

  • This website, housed by the Oregon Health & Science University, provides a curated source of evidence-based resources on opioids. They have sections designed for: 1) policymakers & community leaders; 2) payers & providers; and 3) patients and caregivers.

Brandeis Opioid Resource Connector.

  • This website gives communities information about what has worked elsewhere, strategies they can use to assess local needs, and suggestions on how to build an effective, sustainable coalition.