The United States is in the midst of a deepening opioid crisis. IPRC researchers engage with state and community partners to develop solutions to mitigate and prevent long-term opioid use and overdose. Many states, including North Carolina, have developed opioid action plans. Our research is responsive to the research needs articulated in these plans.
Building on earlier outreach efforts in 2016 and 2017 to identify research priorities to respond to the opioid crisis, in May 2018, the IPRC and key partners, including the NC DHHS, the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, convened more than 70 experts from state agencies, academic centers, and area businesses to operationalize a key step outlined in NC’s Opioid Action Plan: “..establishment of an opioid research consortium and a research agenda among state agencies and state institutions to inform future work and evaluate existing work.” The outputs from this event are being compiled into a report that will be shared with the Governor’s office. Keynote speakers: Governor Roy Cooper; Secretary of Health of NC, Dr. Mandy Cohen.Learn more about the IPRC's impact on opioid misuse and overdose prevention
IPRC is proud to support UNC students in conducting cutting-edge injury and violence prevention research, including the Opioid Student Research Group. This group aims to add to the knowledge base of opioid overdose prevention research and engage students, faculty, and staff in collaborative research or practice work related to opioid overdose prevention.
Natalie Blackburn is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. She holds a Master’s in Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University. Prior to starting the PhD program at UNC Natalie was an ORISE fellow in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta where she focused on strengthening the evidence for screening of hepatitis C among persons who use drugs. Her research interests include treatment for opioid use disorders and the implementation of substance use treatment services in infectious disease clinical settings.
In collaboration with the NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB), the IPRC is implementing a multi-state Peer-To-Peer (“PTP”) overdose prevention initiative focusing on expanding and improving harm reduction strategies by convening stakeholders to identify promising and effective strategies to address the opioid epidemic and polysubstance use. This participatory process will identify: 1) existing coalitions, 2) local strategies that are effective or showing promise, 3) effective ways to document and disseminate information about what is working to prevent overdose in rural communities, and 4) methods that facilitate the adoption of effective strategies through networking and training. The PTP initiative will facilitate networking among public health programs and rural harm reduction practitioners to build a learning network to improve the use of harm reduction strategies to address the overdose epidemic. The initial phase of the project will focus on central Appalachia, one of the hardest hit parts of the country by the overdose epidemic. For more information, contact Kim Dixon, Director of Outreach and Training: firstname.lastname@example.org