Opioid Collaboratory

Our mission is to save lives and reduce the harmful impact of opioids in North Carolina through the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of sustainable, system-level interventions.

About Us

The Opioid Collaboratory is grant-funded by The Duke Endowment and is led, managed, and administered through the Duke School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health Sciences. Project teams work across Duke and with partner organizations.

Projects have been selected for the portfolio through an intentional process that tries to balance data surveillance, health systems improvement, and public health interventions. In response to this dynamic epidemic, all efforts have been made to focus on translating data to action, align projects with the NC Opioid Action Plan and address opioid use across the spectrum. The principles of harm reduction are central to and woven throughout the portfolio.

Program Strategy

    • Understand opioid and related care at Duke Health; determine points of intervention
    • Identify potential linkages with other data
    • Track evaluation metrics
    • Address Duke Health or community health provider actions and/or system improvements
    • Reduce harms and improve patient experience
    • Increase linkages and access to care
    • Emphasize implementation science and data → action and policy
    • Engage community partners to develop, implement and/or evaluate programs and policy
    • Contribute to, accelerate, or expand programs to promote health and prevent disease

Harm Reduction Approach

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas guiding our portfolio aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs. It incorporates a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence, to meeting people who use drugs “where they’re at.”

There is no universal definition of or formula for implementing harm reduction, as interventions and policies should reflect specific individual and community needs.

The Duke Opioid Collaboratory, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, and the Monti (a non-profit that creates community through storytelling) hosted a virtual event featuring honest and intimate stories of resilience told by people whose lives have been impacted by NC’s overdose epidemic. Watch here.