HEALing Communities Study

The HEALing Communities Study (HCS) is a research study aimed to reduce opioid and overdose deaths across New York State by 40% in three years. Launched by NIH, the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative is an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis.

WNBC interviews Nabila and the HEAL team

2019 – Ongoing
PI: Nabila El-Bassel

Members of the HEALing Communities team

More about the HEALing Communities Study

The HEALing Communities Study (HCS) is an NIH-funded effort to reduce overdose deaths in New York and three other highly-impacted states. It was built with a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary approach.  Community partners include government agencies, non-profits, the medical field, and people with lived experience.


In 2019, the School of Social Work received an $86 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to spearhead an ambitious multi-year effort to reduce opioid overdose deaths in New York State. The effort, part of a nationwide research study on how to address the opioid crisis, is being led by SIG Director and University Professor Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, and brings together Columbia’s School of Social Work, the Department of Psychiatry, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Data Science Institute, as well as researchers from Albert Einstein School of Medicine/Montefiore Health System, City University of New York, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York University School of Medicine, University of Miami, and Yale School of Medicine.

HEALing Communities Study Research Updates

HEALing Communities in the Media

2024 (partial list)

2023 (partial list)

2022 (partial list)

Our Projects have been supported by funding from: