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Subst Abuse. 2018 Aug 12;12:1178221818784294. doi: 10.1177/1178221818784294. eCollection 2018.

Empirical Studies Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: An Urgent Call for Research.

Author information

Department of Psychology, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Department of Psychology, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.
Department of Psychology, Capital University, Columbus, OH, USA.
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Maryhaven, Inc., Columbus, OH, USA.
Departments of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Medicine, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA.


Opioid misuse has become one of the most pressing public health problems facing the country. In this article, we briefly review literature regarding the opioid epidemic in the United States and the negative consequences of opioid use disorder. We provide information regarding treatment and relapse using a variety of intervention approaches. We call for research on people with opioid use disorder that can contribute to a variety of areas: improving medication-assisted treatment, addressing chronic pain, examination of adjunctive behavioral interventions, overdose, high risk behaviors and infections, pregnancy, diverse populations, and other psychological factors. Collectively addressing these crucial areas of research will advance the field and help alleviate suffering and prevent death from opioid use disorder.


Opioid epidemic; medication-assisted treatment; opioid use disorder; overdose; pregnancy

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests:The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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