In 2017, North Carolina launched a comprehensive Opioid Action Plan focused on reducing opioid misuse, overdose and death. The Opioid Action Plan Focus Area 7: Measuring Impact includes a strategy to establish an opioid research consortium and a research agenda among state agencies and research institutions to inform future work and evaluate existing work.
In May 2018, a one-day Research Agenda meeting was convened to identify questions that would, if answered, advance the way North Carolina responded to the opioid epidemic. These questions informed the North Carolina Opioid Research Agenda Meeting participants included academic and non-profit research institutions and individuals from across the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Research institutions play an important role in our response to the opioid epidemic. They can identify critical gaps in knowledge and discover new information and emerging trends needed to respond to a quickly shifting epidemic. This knowledge can then inform the programs, policies and interventions that are used to respond to the epidemic. Research institutions are critical to the development of prevention and intervention strategies, including accessible, effective treatments for substance use disorder. Furthermore, research institutions can evaluate policies and interventions to identify more effective responses to the opioid epidemic.
The NC Opioid Research Agenda Report was released in March 2019.