George Mason University joins effort to combat opioid crisis

George Mason University has joined a new push to improve how opioid addiction is treated within the criminal justice system.

The National Institutes of Health will award 12 grants to support research on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, will help fund the effort with an award totaling $155 million in grants to form the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network. The group will be made up of 10 research institutions and two centers to provide supportive infrastructure.

The goals are to address what’s seen as a gap in how the opioid crisis is treated within the criminal justice system, develop intervention methods and find ways to improve treatment strategies.

Each grantee will also work with communities and other organizations focused on the criminal justice system to help address issues related to OUD-related services when looking at jails, policing and re-entry programs.

The Friends Research Institute in Baltimore is also among the selected institutions to take part in the research.

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