Institute for Behavioral Health

Schneider Institutes for Health Policy

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Opioid Policy Research Collaborative 

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The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University helps diverse stakeholders respond to the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. We investigate policies and interventions to reduce the incidence of opioid use disorder, ensure appropriate prescribing of controlled medications and expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment.

The United States is in the midst of a severe epidemic of opioid addiction. The sharp increase in the prevalence of opioid use disorders over the past 20 years has led to record high levels of overdose deaths and rising use of heroin. Once rare, opioid overdoses are now a leading cause of death. The increase in the number of Americans suffering from opioid use disorders has also resulted in rising rates of infants born opioid-dependent, children entering foster care, outbreaks of injection-related infectious diseases and other health and social problems. Families and communities across the country are suffering from the devastating impact of this crisis.

About Us

The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC), based in the Institute for Behavioral Health (IBH) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, is advancing desperately needed scholarship on interventions to address the opioid addiction epidemic. We serve as a primary resource for state and federal health officials, policymakers and private organizations and play prominent roles in 4 key areas:

  • Providing Cutting-Edge Research: OPRC generates research to objectively evaluate local, state and national interventions and policies that have been implemented in response to the opioid crisis.
  • Offering Innovative Policy Initiatives: OPRC develops evidence-based guidance and recommendations for a wide range of stakeholders, including federal, state and local government agencies, health care systems, and industry.
  • Serving as a Convener and Collaborator: OPRC brings together researchers, clinicians and policymakers from diverse disciplines to develop coordinated strategies for responding to the opioid addiction epidemic. The Collaborative creates opportunities for university faculty to collaborate with other top researchers in the fields of public health, health services research, epidemiology, addiction treatment, medical education and drug policy. 
  • Communicating Activities, Outcomes and Accomplishments: OPRC shares findings from innovative research and policy initiatives across academic, medical, non-profit and government fields. OPRC works closely with media outlets to highlight key accomplishments for an even wider audience. 

Our Team

Andrew Kolodny, MD  is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University and Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative. His primary area of focus is the prescription opioid and heroin crisis devastating families and communities across the country. He is also the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, an organization with a mission to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by overprescribing of opioid analgesics. Dr. Kolodny previously served as Chief Medical Officer for Phoenix House, a national non-profit addiction treatment agency and as Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. He began his career working for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Office of the Executive Deputy Commissioner, where he helped develop and implement multiple programs, including city-wide buprenorphine programs, naloxone overdose prevention programs and emergency room screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs for drug and alcohol misuse.

Peter Kreiner, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University and Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative. He is Principal Investigator for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center, and for the Prescription Behavior Surveillance System at Brandeis, a longitudinal multi-state database of prescription drug monitoring program data to serve as an early warning surveillance tool and a tool to help evaluate changes in state policy and regulations. Dr. Kreiner has more than 25 years’ experience conducting research and evaluation of substance abuse prevention and treatment systems and programs, at community, state, and regional levels. His research interests include small geographic area measures and models, specifically focused on rates of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose cases, and measures of appropriate and inappropriate prescribing; and network analysis applied to inter-organizational networks and provider-patient networks related to care coordination.   

OPRC Affiliated Researchers

Rachel Sayko Adams          MeeLee Kim

Mary Brolin                           Mary Jo Larson

Tom Clark                              Lee Panas

Erin Doyle                             Sharon Reif               

Deborah Garnick                  Maureen Stewart

Constance Horgan               Gail Strickler

Dominic Hodgkin                 Cindy Thomas

Our Services

The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative is committed to serving as a national resource for state and local organizations, companies, and research teams in opioid addiction treatment services and policy. OPRC offers evaluation and consulting services in the fields of implementation, capacity-building and expanding access to evidence-based treatment, as well as advice and recommendations regarding opioid policy initiatives. For inquiries & requests about services offered by OPRC, please contact us


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