Leveraging our expertise to fight the opioid crisis

The well-being of the communities we serve is at the heart of Ohio State’s land-grant mission. Today, in the face of a nationwide opioid crisis, the university is marshaling resources across its full breadth to find solutions involving prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. From policy development and review to grant funding, from training to treatment, this work, so essential to Ohio and the country, strengthens Ohio State’s position as a national flagship public research university and significantly advances our strategic vision.

Below is a preview of our expertise and campus-wide efforts.


CFAES Extension Mental Health First Aid Training

Ohio State is offering the National Council for Behavioral Health's "Mental Health First Aid" to Extension staff statewide to help cultivate the skills needed to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance/opioid abuse challenges and crises.

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Drug Enforcement and Policy Center

The Moritz College of Law recently announced the creation of the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center to support and promote interdisciplinary research, scholarship, education, community outreach and public engagement on the societal impacts surrounding legal reforms that prohibit or regulate the use and distribution of traditionally illicit drugs.

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Opioid Innovation Fund

In 2017, the Office of Academic Affairs initiated a grant program with more than $1 million in funding to advance our understanding of the crisis and to inspire new and existing partnerships to develop programs that alleviate the burden in Ohio.

Opioid Innovation Fund

$3 million grant awarded to College of Social Work

The College of Social Work received one of the largest grants ever awarded in the college’s 100-year history, funded by the Children’s Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support regional partnership intervention activities.

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Narcotic Reduction Clinic

The Wexner Medical Center is working on multiple fronts to help Ohio solve the crisis. One example is the Narcotic Reduction Clinic, where physicians determine a reasonable coordinated treatment plan to gradually reduce doses of pain medicine.

Comprehensive Pain & Headache Center

Generation Rx

Since 2009, the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University and the Cardinal Health Foundation have partnered through the Generation Rx program to provide open source educational materials that anyone can use to help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs.

Generation Rx

C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences' C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy focuses on increasing access to treatment and improving economic opportunity.

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Student Life Collegiate Recovery Community

The Office of Student Life's Collegiate Recovery Community supports students in or seeking recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, allowing students to have an authentic college experience while maintaining their recovery.

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College of Education & Human Ecology

Ohio State researchers say that another potential outcome of that disparity could be fatal. Ohioans who have only high school degrees have opioid overdose rates 14 times higher than those with four-year college degrees.

Policy Brief

President's Prize

The President’s Prize is the highest university recognition bestowed on exceptional students committed to transforming our world. Alina Sharafutdinova, one of two recipients in 2018, will work to combat the opioid epidemic through drug education, overdose prevention and addiction treatment in high-risk Columbus neighborhoods.

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Naloxone is available at the Student Life Student Health Services pharmacy. Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose, allowing the patient to resume breathing.


The Suboxone Maintenance and Recovery Treatment (SMART) program is a partnership between the Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service, Collegiate Recovery Community and Student Health Services. The program is designed to assist students with a history of opioid use disorder in maintaining their recovery by offering continued maintenance treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone, psychosocial support programs and recovery support.

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Opioid Crisis Steering Committee

Bringing together all of the Wexner Medical Center's resources, a new steering committee is centralizing communications, planning and implementation across the organization’s current and future initiatives to treat, eliminate and prevent opioid addiction in our community.

Ohio State Marion Community Opioid Summit

In collaboration with the College of Public Health, Ohio State Marion organized a two-hour summit in December of approximately 40 individuals from the Marion community representing law enforcement, the courts, counselors, treatment facilities, public health, health providers, employers, social service agencies and more. This was the first such gathering of these disparate functions in the area, and additional meetings are scheduled to continue addressing the drug problems affecting not just Marion, but all of Ohio and the nation.

Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery

The HECAOD, operated by the College of Social Work, the College of Pharmacy and the Office of Student Life and founded in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, provides colleges and universities the tools to launch prevention and recovery programs for on their campuses. The Center has created a free iTunesU course, “Generation Rx: The Science Behind Prescription Drug Abuse” to help educate the community.

Higher Education Center
Department of Sociology

A new study suggests that when drug users go online for the first time to buy opioids, they aren’t looking for the widest selection or the best prices for their illicit purchases.

On the darknet, drug buyers aren’t looking for bargains
College of Public Health

Learn more about efforts taking place in the College of Public Health.

What the College of Public Health is Doing to Combat the Opioid Epidemic
Ohio State Insights

Ken Hale, clinical professor of pharmacy at Ohio State, has been a vanguard in educating people about this crisis and offers his perspective on the crisis in the piece from Ohio State Insights.

Opioids: America’s public health emergency
Columbus Dispatch

Several Ohio State efforts have been detailed in the pages of the Columbus Dispatch.

Could this back pain device end the need for opioids Cardinal Health announced program to address opioid crisis

The College of Social Work is help evaluate the Ohio Attorney General's Ohio Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) pilot program's success in reuniting families disrupted by parental addiction.

Ohio State News Release ABC6/FOX28 News Clip 10TV WBNS News Clip