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The HEALing Communities Study Team invites you to assist in reducing opioid overdose deaths through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative. In the largest research grant ever received by the University of Kentucky, researchers from four states, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio developed information and resources to guide community leaders, policy makers, health care workers, family members and people who use drugs to find solutions to reduce opioid overdose deaths. The study translated research results into actionable steps in 67 communities across the four states. This site provides manuals, resources, flyers, educational materials, sample billboards, ads and brochures developed from this study. We hope you will explore and use these materials to address the opioid overdose epidemic in your community.

This site contains information to help:

  • Reverse opioid overdoses
  • Educate you and your community on opioid use disorder (OUD) and the FDA-approved treatments
  • Communicate in ways that will reduce the shame surrounding OUD, naloxone and medications used to treat OUD
  • Provide practical substance use prevention ideas
  • Advocate in your own community to reduce opioid overdose deaths

Thank you for visiting the HEALing Communities Study (HCS) website, where we hope you find the information you seek. 

If you would like to ask the University of Kentucky team questions or provide suggestions for improvement of this site, please contact us at


Community Resources

Carry naloxone

Increasing access to naloxone and educating individuals to appropriately respond to opioid overdoses were primary goals of HCS. Naloxone is available over the counter at pharmacies and may be available at no cost. Click the link above to learn more today. 

Find treatment for an opioid-use disorder

Are you or someone you know looking for treatment for OUD? Medications to treat OUD is a medical standard of care, and these medications can save lives.

Get rid of unused medications

Removing expired or unused medications from the home helps get your family and your community safe. More than half of misused prescription pain relievers are obtained from a friend or relative.

Learn more about the HEALing Communities Study

What is the HEALing Communities Study?

The study aimed to reduce opioid overdose deaths. The funding was awarded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

Download the UK-HCS factsheet to read more about the grant, the communities, the goals, and partners across the Commonwealth. You can read about the HEAL initiative on the National Institutes of Health HEALing Communities Study webpage.

What was done?

A coalition of stakeholders who live and/or work in the participating counties drove the local decision-making and implementation process.

Over the course of the study, HCS-KY hosted 125+ interactive teleconferences and 25 peer-based learning sessions, distributed more than 90,000 units of naloxone, partnered with more than 130 agencies to expand access to medications for OUD, installed nearly 60 drug disposal receptacles, and launched 8 communications campaigns across the 16 HCS-KY communities. Click the link above to download the HCS Infographic to learn more.

HCS County Resources Hub

Looking for tailored materials and resources specific to your HCS county? Explore our dedicated HCS Counties page, where you’ll find resource guides and information designed for your community. 

What's next?

Explore resources, toolkits, and manuals prepared by the HCS-KY team

These resources are designed for many different audiences looking to take actionable steps to address OUD in their community.

Do you want to know more about OUD and treatment options?

OUD is treatable, and medications for OUD saves lives. Learn more about this chronic disease, and how these medications work.