The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened an existing drug overdose crisis that claimed the lives of more than 81,000 people in the U.S. from May 2019-June 2020. 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.

Working Group Goals

The primary goal of the Opioid Epidemic Working Group is to identify sustainable, humane, and effective solutions to the opioid epidemic by bringing together substance use disorder researchers from various disciplines across Penn to foster dialogue and advance evidence-based approaches to address the opioid crisis. The working group aims to:

  • Grow the external profile of Penn as a home of expertise on issues related to opioid use, opioid stewardship, and the opioid epidemic;
  • Advance opportunities and resources for cross-disciplinary research;
  • Facilitate collaboration;
  • Develop recommendations to inform ongoing debates and emerging policies regarding the opioid epidemic;
  • Form collaborations with external partners and stakeholders to design innovative studies and impact evidence-based policy.

Ways We Can Support You

  • Funding opportunities: Join our email list to receive alerts regarding funding opportunities that focus on opioid use, opioid stewardship, or the opioid epidemic. Sign up here.
  • Advise on proposal and manuscript development: At least quarterly, and more often as warranted, the group holds work-in-progress meetings to review and discuss ongoing projects or new proposals. We can provide individualized study design support upon request and as time permits. To receive updates on the next meeting, sign up here.
  • Connect you with stakeholders or expert investigators: We can provide individualized support to your proposals, such as identifying stakeholder advisors for your project or helping you form collaborations with organizations that work to address the opioid crisis. To learn more, please complete this form.
  • Training and Fellowship Opportunities:
    • Data resources.

Get Involved

Working group membership is open to all members of the Penn and CHOP communities, and others by permission. Sign up here.

Initiative Lead

Zachary Meisel

Zachary Meisel, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Related Projects and News

Blog Post

Health Care Access & Coverage | Opioid Epidemic

The Fierce Urgency of the Overdose Crisis

Federal Policy Recommendations

  • Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH for the Penn LDI Opioids Working Group


Opioid Epidemic

Primary Care: On the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis

Primary Care Providers Have a Continuum of Opioid Treatments in Their Arsenal

  • Marcus Bachhuber, MD, MSHP, Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH, Julia Mitchell, MPA, and Jeffrey Samet, MD, MA, MPH