Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center (OPTIC) Resources

In addition to research publications, OPTIC resources include methods, tools, and information in the opioid policy arena.

The Intersection of Two Pandemics: Addiction and COVID-19 Webinar
The USC Schaeffer Center and the Institute for Addiction Science's recent webinar discussed the pre-pandemic rise in substance use disorder and why policy responses to COVID-19 might cause individuals with addiction to fare even worse.
COVID-19 Policy Recommendations for OUD, Pain, and Harm Reduction
Recommendations from the American Medical Association to help states and others with specific policy recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exceptions to Facilitate Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
Recommendation from the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) to states to request exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19: Telehealth for Opioid Addiction Interventions Webinar and Resources
The Association for Addiction Professionals' recent webinar and supplemental resources on laws and ethical codes applying to the use of technology by addiction specialists for telehealth.
COVID-19, Self-Help Groups, and Medication Treatment for OUD
Health Affairs Blog discussing how COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to assess and realign self-help groups and treatment with medications for people with opioid use disorder.
COVID-19 and Opioid Policy Changes
Discussion of policy barriers to evidence-based prevention and treatment for individuals with OUD and suggestions for federal and state governments to reduce barriers to care for individuals with OUD.
Fighting Two Battles: How CMS is Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in the Time of COVID-19
IMPAQ International COVID-19 blog series discussing CMS, state Medicaid agencies, and other partners implementing programs to continue providing life-saving interventions for individuals in need of care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth for OUD in the Home
Discussion of an emerging treatment model for OUD which leverages telehealth to provide medication treatment to patients in their homes.

RAND Resources

RAND Drug Policy Research Center
The Drug Policy Research Center conducts research to help decisionmakers in the United States and throughout the world address issues involving alcohol and other drugs, bringing an objective and data-driven perspective to this often emotional and fractious policy arena.
RAND Methods Center - Center for Causal Inference
The Center for Causal Inference supports the development and application of methods of causal inference, particularly in policy research, and also in recent studies of substance use treatment.
Confronting the Opioid Crisis
RAND research to date related to opioids, including an in-depth look at the issues related to the opioid crisis.

Web Resources

Please note: these resources have not been fully evaluated and their appearance on this list does not indicate endorsement by RAND.

The Role of Community Health Centers in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
This issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) presents findings from a 2018 survey of community health centers on health center activities related to the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder.
Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States: Data Visualization
NORC at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s USDA Rural Development created an Opioid Misuse Community Assessment Tool to allow users to map overdose hotspots and overlay them with community demographic data.
Drug Use Treatment Services Locator from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for those seeking treatment facilities in the United States for substance use and/or mental health needs.
Information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA's opioid drug abuse page is a resource for drug facts, prevalence trends, national crisis summary and summaries by state, as well as topical research reports and policy briefs.
HIV and the Opioid Epidemic: 5 Key Points
As the opioid epidemic has worsened, there has been growing concern about how injection drug use might fuel transmission of infectious disease. This series of graphics from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) highlights key things to know about the intersection of the nation’s HIV and opioid epidemics.
Map of Opioid Overdose Deaths per 100,000 People in the United States
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, State Health Compare offers an interactive map of United States overdose deaths per 100,000 people by state and year.
National Governors Association (NGA) Road Map for States: Finding Solutions to the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis
Designed as a policy development tool, NGA's road map helps states respond to the growing opioid crisis with a public health approach focused on preventing and treating opioid use disorder and strengthening law enforcement efforts to address illegal supply.
Opioid Overdose Deaths by Type of Opioid: Online Tool
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation created a tool to allow users to examine opioid overdose deaths by type of opioid and time period in the United States.
Opioid Resources in Canada from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
CCSA's mission is to address issues of substance use in Canada by providing national leadership and harnessing the power of evidence to generate coordinated action.
A Look at How the Opioid Crisis Has Affected People with Employer Coverage
In this analysis and a corresponding chart collection, Kaiser Family Foundation used claims data from large employers to examine how the opioid crisis has affected people with large employer coverage, including employees and their dependents.

Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic

Medicaid’s Role in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
Infographic from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) summarizing Medicaid's central role in America's efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
The Opioid Epidemic and Medicaid's Role in Facilitating Access to Treatment
This KFF issue brief examines Medicaid’s role in facilitating access to treatment for opioid addiction.
The Opioid Epidemic and Medicaid’s Role in Treatment: A Look at Changes Over Time
A PowerPoint presentation from KFF looking at the changes over time in Medicaid's role in the opioid epidemic.
Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic: Enrollment, Spending, and the Implications of Proposed Policy Changes
This issue brief from KFF provides information on the number of Medicaid enrollees with opioid addiction, Medicaid spending on these enrollees, and the implications of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) as states work to combat this public health crisis.
Federal Legislation to Address the Opioid Crisis: Medicaid Provisions in the SUPPORT Act
This KFF table summarizes the Medicaid-related provisions in the SUPPORT Act related to helping states provide coverage and services to people who need substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, particularly those needing opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.

Other Training Resources

Please note: these training resources have not been fully evaluated and their appearance on this list does not indicate endorsement by RAND.

ASAM Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Course
Online course offered by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) that covers all forms of medications and treatments of opioid use disorder, and provides the required education needed to obtain the waiver to prescribe buprenorphine.
8 Hour Online MAT Waiver Training for Physicians
Free, online training offered by Providers Clinical Support System for physicians who wish to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders.


OPTIC webinars have been moved to a separate page.