Prescription pill bottles on a table in the foreground with a man in the background, leaning against the wall

OPTIC: Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center

The opioid crisis is a dynamic public health threat. Opioid use disorders affect an estimated nine out of every 1,000 Americans The estimated economic burden of opioid abuse and overdose is staggering—nearly $500 billion annually, more than the government spends on health care for the poor each year. Successfully combating the crisis demands collaborative efforts to address the challenges to our public health, health care, public safety, law enforcement, and criminal justice systems.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the RAND Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center (OPTIC) to develop reliable data, rigorous methods, and policy tools to inform evidence-based opioid policy. OPTIC will assess the opioid crisis as it continues to evolve, describe the policies being implemented to address it, identify the impact of alternative strategies taken by the state and federal government, and suggest policy approaches that have yet be tried together as comprehensive strategies for improving public health and public safety.


OPTIC is designed to be a national resource, fostering innovative and high-quality research in opioid policy science, and developing and disseminating methods, tools, and information to the research community, policymakers, and other stakeholders.


OPTIC is funded by grant P50DA046351 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In the News

  • Close up of a newborn leg viewed through an incubator, photo by Kwangmoozaa/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    The Ecology of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

    Newborns exposed to opioids before birth can experience withdrawal symptoms known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). From 2009 to 2015, the average NAS rate per 1,000 hospital births across eight states rose from about six to more than 25.