OPTIC is a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to improving the effectiveness of opioid policies by enhancing opioid policy science.

The Opioid Ecosystem

We view the opioid crisis as an ecosystem, where policies targeting one dimension of the crisis may ripple through the system, often with unintended consequences. Current research often treats opioid policies as if they were implemented in isolation, ignoring that many policies may be implemented, at different times in a given area, and also failing to consider how the local environment influences the effects of policies.

To effectively confront the crisis we need to understand:

  • which policies work and for whom
  • what the components of a successful policy are
  • how to disentangle the effects of multiple concurrent policies
  • which well-intentioned policies have unintended negative consequences
  • how to hone and strengthen approaches to designing and assessing policies
  • how community factors can shape opioid markets and policy effects

And we need to share what we learn quickly with research colleagues, decisionmakers, and practitioners at multiple levels.

At OPTIC, we are monitoring this constantly evolving crisis, cataloging and assessing policies designed to address it, and suggesting policy approaches that have yet to be tried together as comprehensive ways to improve public health and public safety. Please visit often to get updates on our work.

Affiliated Institutions

OPTIC collaborates with a range of affiliated institutions, thereby expanding both our science base and opportunities for policy impact.

Advisory Board

OPTIC’s Advisory Board comprises nationally recognized scholars as well as policy makers and practitioners from federal and state organizations.

  • Michael Botticelli, M.Ed. Executive Director, Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine
    Boston Medical Center
  • Richard Frank, Ph.D. Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Care Policy
    Harvard Medical School
  • Adam Gordon, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., D.F.A.S.A.M., C.M.R.O. Elbert F. And Marie Christensen Endowed Research Professorship, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry
    University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Karmen Hanson, M.A. Program Director, Health
    National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Shelby M. Hockenberry, Ph.D. Program Director, Healthcare Delivery
    National Governors Association
  • Christopher Jones, Pharm.D., Dr.P.H., M.P.H. Senior Advisor and Associate Director, Office of Strategy and Innovation
    National Center for Injury Prevention Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Morgan Medlock, M.D., M.Div., M.P.H. Affiliated Faculty
    Department of Psychiatry, Howard University
    Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, & Behavior
  • Harold Pollack, Ph.D. Helen Ross Professor, School of Social Service Administration
    University of Chicago