Opioids and Substance Use

Opioids and Substance Use

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy has been committed to advancing evidence-based interventions to address the opioid and substance use crisis.  Leveraging critical experience in state health policy, regulatory science, and healthcare transformation, Duke-Margolis serves as a convener and policy catalyst by bringing together the federal, state, academic, and health system expertise to develop solutions that are practical, innovative, and evidence-based. Building on its critical work to date, Duke-Margolis will continue working with partners across the health care and addiction community to support the development of novel therapeutics and approaches for pain management and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, improve access and quality of treatment for SUDs, and reduce the toll of overdose deaths related to opioids and substance use.      


Key focus areas include:

  • Advancing payment and delivery reforms that support a “whole person” approach to treatment and recovery
  • Working with federal and state partners to support evidence-based policies across the continuum of SUD prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Advancing integrated pain management approaches that can support improved outcomes and reduce opioid-related risks
  • Advancing research and regulatory efforts to develop improved therapeutics and treatment paradigms for substance use disorders and to promote the safe and appropriate use of opioids and other controlled substances



Duke-Margolis Convenings and Publications on Opioids and Substance Use   

Tools and Resources:

  • Press Release: New Tool Aims to Help Local Leaders Curb Opioid Crisis at Community Level  May 2023 (link)

  • Press Release: New Tools and Resources Aim to Help Guide Local, County, and State Policymakers Make Community Investments of Opioid Settlement Funds August 2022 (link)


Advancing Payment and Delivery Reforms:

  • Publication: Addressing Key Barriers to Value-Based Payment for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment and Recovery: Current Gaps and Opportunities for Advancing Quality Measurement October 2021 (link)


State and Federal Policy

  • Publication: An Agenda for Ending the Addiction Crisis: Key Priorities and Considerations for the Biden-Harris Administration February 2021 (link)

  • Workshop: Assessing and Incorporating Intervention Effectiveness in Systems Models of the Opioids Crisis – October 2020 (link)

  • Partnership: Principles for the Use of Funds from Opioid Litigation – Duke-Margolis joined Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health and other partner organizations to endorse guiding principles of opioid litigation funds (link)


Improving Integrated Pain Management

  • Publication: Managing Multiple Irons in the Fire: Continuing to Address the Opioid Crisis and Improve Pain Management During a Public Health Emergency, New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst – June 2020 (link)

  • Publication: Comment Letter Regarding the Management of Acute and Chronic Pain – June 2021 (link)

  • Publication: Case study on Exemplary Integrated Pain Management Programs: West Virginia University Center for Integrative Pain Management – June 2021 (link)

  • Publication: Case study on Exemplary Integrated Pain Management Programs: University of Vermont Medical Center Comprehensive Pain Program– August 2021 (link)


Promoting the Safe Use of Opioids and Other Controlled Substances

  • Workshop: Reconsidering Mandatory Opioid Prescriber Education Through a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) in an Evolving Crisis – October 2021 (link)

  • Workshop: Safe Use of Benzodiazepines: Clinical, Regulatory, and Public Health PerspectivesJuly 2021 (link)

  • Workshop: Exploring Options for Safe and Effective In-Home Opioid Disposal – June 2021 (link)

    • Publication: Exploring Options for Safe and Effective In-Home Opioid Disposal Meeting Summary - June 2021 (link)

  • Workshop: Development and Regulation of Psychedelics for Therapeutic Use- April 2021 (link)

  • Workshop: Exploring Policy Options for Establishing Cannabidiol Safety Surveillance -July 2020 (link)

  • Workshop: Developing Novel Therapeutics for Stimulant Use Disorder - December 2019 (link)

  • Workshop: Expanding Access to Effective Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: Provider Perspectives on Reducing Barriers to Evidence-Based Care – September 2018 (link)

  • Publication: Health System Interventions to Promote Safe Use and Appropriate Prescribing of Prescription Opioids February 2018 (link)  

  • Workshop: Health System Interventions to Promote Safe Use and Appropriate Prescribing of Prescription Opioids – February 2018 (link)

  • Workshop: Exploring Packaging, Storage, and Disposal Solutions to Enhance Opioid Safety – June 2017 (link)

May 23, 2023 - The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and Third Horizon Strategies (THS) launched the Opioid Abatement Needs and Investment (OANI) tool. This interactive resource, developed with support from the Elevance Health Foundation, aims to assist local, municipal and state level leaders working to address the opioid epidemic in their communities.
August 31, 2022 - The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy announced the launch of a new effort to assist communities and states in investing opioid settlement funds to support local, sustainable community-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery infrastructure. Through a $365,000 grant from the Elevance Health Foundation, Duke researchers will work with their strategic partner, Third Horizon Strategies, to create a series of toolkits and playbooks for policymakers to maximize use of these funds in their communities.
In July 2021, the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy convened health systems; providers; state and federal policymakers; addiction experts; and other key thought leaders for a virtual roundtable to discuss key barriers and opportunities for advancing payment and delivery reforms that can support expanded access to high-quality SUD treatment and recovery services. Click the link to read a summary of the meeting including key takeaways from the discussion.

Duke-Margolis Team Members

Brian Canter Headshot

Brian Canter, Ph.D.

Policy Research Associate

Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith

Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith, MPAff

Assistant Research Director

Katie Huber

Katie Huber, MPH

Senior Policy Analyst

Morgan Romine headshot

Morgan Romine, MPA

Chief of Staff
Senior Team Member

Robert Saunders

Robert Saunders, PhD

Senior Research Director, Health Care Transformation
Adjunct Associate Professor
Executive Team Member
Margolis Core Faculty