Opioid Epidemic

Mobilizing Evidence and Policy to Combat Addiction

Penn LDI is collaborating with researchers and policymakers throughout the country to identify evidence-based, sustainable, and effective solutions to combat the nation’s unprecedented opioid epidemic. LDI Senior Fellows and staff regularly produce research and policy briefs, blogs, and publications, as well as convene key stakeholders all towards the goal of addressing treatment, harm reduction, and the social determinants of health that are driving the opioid epidemic. Explore some of our ongoing work and publications below, and click here to see more current work.

Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HCV, and HIV (CHERISH), a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded Center of Excellence. LDI is home to the Dissemination and Policy Core of CHERISH and supports center researchers in employing state-of-the-art dissemination practices to increase visibility and impact of research among policy makers and the public.

The REDUCE Trial

A $600,000 grant awarded to Amol Navathe and Mitesh Patel to study potential ways to reduce physicians’ opioid prescribing using behavioral science.



LDI Senior Fellow Zachary Meisel, MD, received a $2.1 million award to fund a  comparative effectiveness study of enhanced opioid risk communication strategies for pain management following acute care.

Penn LDI Opioid  Workgroup  

This workgroup brings together substance use disorder researchers from various disciplines across Penn to foster dialogue and advance evidence-based approached to address the opioid crisis in Philadelphia. 


Important Tools Against the Opioid Epidemic
Primary Care Providers Have a Continuum of Opioid Treatments in Their Arsenal
Strong Economic Evidence Supports Use of Methadone Maintenance Therapy
Narrative Vignettes Outperform Standard Summaries in Promoting Engagement
The case for universal, one-time screening

Leonard Davis Institute and CHERISH Bring Stakeholders Together
An unintended consequence of well-intentioned policy
Public Thinks Opioid Misuse Can Be As "Bad" As Cancer, CHERISH Researchers Find
People In Poor Countries Can't Get The Pain Medication They Need
A three-pronged strategy
New evidence that expansion reduces overdose mortality and increases treatment access

Pain Medicine, March 2018, Marcus A Bachhuber, Brendan Saloner, Marc LaRochelle, Jessica S Merlin, Brandon C Maughan, Dan Polsky, Naum Shaparin, Sean M Murphy

The Short- and Long-run Effects of Smoking Cessation on Alcohol Consumption
International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Dec, 2017, Benjamin Ukert

Treatment Seeking as a Mechanism of Change in a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mobile Health Intervention to Support Recovery from Alcohol Use Disorders
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, July 2017, Joseph E. Glass, James R. McKay, David H. Gustafson, Rachel Kornfield, Paul J. Rathouz, Fiona M. McTavish, Amy K. Atwood, Andrew Isham, Andrew Quanbeck, Dhavan Shah

Financial Incentives for Adherence to Hepatitis C Virus Clinical Care and Treatment: A Randomized Trial of Two Strategies
Open Forum Infectious Diseases, June 2017, David A. Wohl, Andrew G. Allmon, Donna Evon, Christopher Hurt, Sarah Ailleen Reifeis, Harsha Thirumurthy, Becky Straub, Angela Edwards, Katie R. Mollan

View more publications.