US Launches Study to Find Ways to Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths

Over 47,000 opioid deaths in 2017

Image Credits: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images.

U.S. health officials on Thursday said they will spend $350 million in four states to study ways to best deal with the nation’s opioid crisis on the local level, with a goal of reducing opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years in selected communities in those states.

The National Institutes of Health will award grants to research sites in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said at a news conference to unveil the plan. They will go to the University of Kentucky, Boston Medical Center, Columbia University and Ohio State University.

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prescription opioid pain treatments and drugs like heroin and the more potent fentanyl were responsible for 47,600 U.S. deaths in 2017, according to government figures, with only a small decline last year, according to provisional data.

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