Media Availability: Experts provide multidisciplinary insight on the state of the American opioid and pain crises

NIH-sponsored special issue highlights research gaps and opportunities

WHAT: A special issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) provides an overview of the current state of the opioid and pain crises in the United States. Sponsored by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health, the unique edition shares diverse perspectives on biopsychological, behavioral and social research gaps, and opportunities to address the pain and opioid crises. It also highlights new collaborations for scientific advancements, by exploring opportunities for integrating varied expertise and perspectives from a wide range of communities into NIH behavioral and social sciences research efforts.

Commentaries in the AJPH supplement “US Opioid and Pain Crises: Gaps and Opportunities in Multidisciplinary Research,” provide legal, government, research, advocate, lived experience, military implications, and racial disparity perspectives. The supplement also provides research topics including prevention in both medical and work settings, policy implications from community factors and racial disparities, and challenges related to data capture that often inform the foundation for policies and next steps.

WHO: Wendy B. Smith, Ph.D., associate director, OBSSR, and David Shurtleff, Ph.D., deputy director, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are available for comment.

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Part of the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is responsible for coordinating the health-relevant behavioral and social sciences and identifying challenges and opportunities to advance these sciences. OBSSR news and other materials are available online at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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