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Consortium to Advance Prevention Solutions to the Opioid Crisis (CAPSOC)
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Overarching mission of CAPSOC: Advancing a national system of prevention supports as an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to avert trajectories away from SUDs and attenuate their consequences.

CAPSOC is a large nationwide group of leading experts in SUD research and practice, representing the full spectrum of etiologists, epidemiologists, program developers and practitioners, intervention specialists, behavioral and social scientists, and policy researchers. We have assembled to advance a national system of prevention supports as an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to avert trajectories away from SUDs and their consequences.

Increasing availability of and access to substance use treatment, understanding substance disorders (SUD/OUD) as health problems, reducing access to opioids, enhancing regulatory controls, tackling stigma, and increasing awareness in public service and justice systems about these disorders are essential components of a comprehensive strategy to combat the problem. However, a critical piece is missing; namely, prevention. Over the past 30 years, prevention research has enhanced our knowledge about the factors, conditions, and processes leading to substance abuse, resulting in a broad array of evidence-based interventions, practices, and policies. Despite their availability and effectiveness, they have been underfunded and underutilized.

Research shows that systematically addressing adverse social determinants of health and wellbeing known to increase behavioral problems among vulnerable populations and promoting protective and supportive environments will significantly reduce substance use and prevent escalation to addiction. Investments in this approach are therefore cost effective in terms of lower levels of systems involvement, treatment needs, and lack of productivity. 

Current events have illuminated the value of prevention, which is increasingly recognized as critical in tackling pandemics, social and racial injustices, health disparities and other adversities. At the same time, states are about to be heavily infused with funds from the pharmaceutical settlement cases—there is a unique and urgent opportunity to promote the effective implementation and scaling of prevention programs and policies, including supportive infrastructure, across communities and social systems. Collectively, we can exert a larger and more sustainable impact than any one group alone.


An outline of CAPSOCs purposes and activities follows:



  1. To facilitate the dissemination of scalable, population-level prevention best practices.

  2. To illustrate the positioning of prevention within a national comprehensive model (from prevention to harm reduction, treatment, recovery support, etc.).

  3. To influence opioid and SUD policy by providing guidance to lawmakers at all levels (local, state, federal) regarding the need to support prevention as integral to a comprehensive and cost-effective legislative model. The NPSC has the capacity to facilitate this objective with consortium member inputs.

  4. To provide effective tools and support the process of implementation of prevention strategies at the local level.

  5. To characterize coordinating, backbone organizations needed to support local officials/communities in developing prevention infrastructure and intermediaries needed to provide TA, training, evaluation, monitoring and other implementation services.

  6. To provide educational materials and other resources to the public, health professionals, and policymakers.

  7. To increase federal funding for development and evaluation of primary and primordial prevention interventions and policies to reduce the incidence of SUD, the risk factors, and the root causes.


Consortium members will fulfill these objectives by engaging in a variety of activities (as desired by the individual member):


  1. Informing CAPSOC of work that aligns with the stated objectives/purposes (all member contributions would be properly credited)

  2. Using CAPSOC as a hub to identify opportunities for collaborating on translational and policy-relevant initiatives of shared interest

  3. Co-endorse letters to policymakers in support of primary prevention approaches to averting pathways from SUD.

  4. Providing feedback on blueprint drafts and clearinghouse development, as well as facilitating dissemination of blueprints and other documents

  5. Populate from and link to existing resource centers to promote a full spectrum of services and ensure prevention is placed prominently in this model on our respective websites.

  6. Disseminate local guidance, blueprint and trainings through channels; e.g., NPSC, NACo, ONDCP, NIDA, AGs offices, PTTCs, Blueprints, CPBH, APSI, and others.

  7. Offer education via webinars, seminars, factsheets, academic and clinical talks, etc.

  8. Engage policymakers to provide guidance through congressional briefings, white papers, op-eds, meetings with legislators, letter writing (with endorsements from all members)

  9. Communicate and collaborate with federal agencies; e.g., SAMHSA, ONDCP, HRSA, CDC, NIH, ASPE, ACF, and others.

  10. Convening to share research and science advocacy work, identify successes/failures and new opportunities to influence policy, and to plan for future Consortium activities.

Accomplishments to Date:

  1. Formed CAPSOC, including ~130 leading experts (individuals and organizations) in substance use prevention and early determinants of child health and well-being

  2. Letter to to and subsequent meeting with Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to make the case to increase funding for prevention initiatives, especially with regard to  adoption of a coordinated, long-term, and trans-institute effort to support research into effective implementation protocols that address the leading risk factors for health disparities and, in turn, problematic substance use as well as funding to accelerate translational research to develop more effective implementation models, greater community uptake, and policy reforms. As a result of this outreach, NIDA is considering the issue of new RFAs to address this significant gap in prevention research funding.

  3. Development of a Policy Statement describing a National Comprehensive Strategy for Preventing Opioid Use Disorders in Communities, which was shared with SAMHSA, NIDA, ONDCP, state and federal legislators, and numerous other partners and organizations.

  4. The publication of a commentary in the Chicago Tribune regarding the need to protect youth in the context of cannabis legalization and to implement a national public education campaign, which was shared with all state and federal legislators in the US.

  5. A letter to Dr. Gupta, the Director of the ONDCP regarding the need for a national public education campaign to help protect youth in the context of cannabis legalization. The letter was also shared with NIDA and SAMHSA. Synopsis: Protections for Youth are Needed to Meet the Challenges Presented by Increasing Trends to Legalize Marijuana (Link)

  6. Response to the ONDCP’s request for input on its 2023 Strategic Plan, emphasizing the need for more focused investments in substance use prevention, including the development of a national infrastructure that supports the full range of needed SUD services, from early prevention through recovery supports.

  7. Guidance to local officials responsible for allocating opioid settlement funds to encourage the appropriation of a significant portion of the funds to prevention activities. 

  8. Op-ed published in STAT First Opinion about the missed opportunity on the part of many states in receiving settlement funds who are not investing in prevention.

  9. Initiative to incorporate a basic prevention core curriculum into the DEA-required eight-hour SUD training for all prescribing providers.

  10. Efforts to expand SAMHSA’s focus on primary prevention, including a meeting with the NIDA Deputy Director, SAMHSA, and NASADAD.

  11. Publication of a paper with background, description, and justification for a National Comprehensive Prevention Services Delivery System.


  1. National Prevention Science Coalition: Policy brief on Strategy for Preventing Opioid Use Disorders in Communities. This provides crucial guidance to state and local officials.  Additionally, the NPSC has written a policy brief for a Comprehensive National Strategy to Prevent Opioid Use Disorder.

  2. The Brandeis Opioid Resource Connector includes many prevention-oriented program models and resources to assist communities in responding to the opioid crisis. These include:

    1. An overview of evidence-based drug prevention strategies

    2. Background materials from national organizations on approaches to prevent opioid misuse and OUD

    3. A community response checklist of prevention programs and policies

    4. A briefing on how communities can address social determinants of health to respond to the opioid crisis that include a wide variety of prevention initiatives program models

    5. 55 geographically diverse program models that include a wide variety of prevention initiatives

    6. Links to over 250 academic papers, reports, and websites that have drug prevention as a major focus

  3. The National Association of Counties (NACo), serving nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees, is the only national organization that represents the 3069 county governments in the United States. NACo has established the Opioid Solutions Center to help guide counties evaluating their needs and deliberating about spending and as a resource for counties as they battle addiction in their communities.

  4. The Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health includes evidence-based policy and public health strategies to prevent addiction, address structural inequities, promote harm reduction strategies, and boost access to effective treatment.

  5. Applied Prevention Science International (APSI) is a not-for-profit organization specializing in promoting prevention science and its application to substance use prevention services in the community, and offers technical assistance, strategic planning consultation, evaluation and workshops to community organizations.

  6. ADAPT (A Division for Advancing Prevention and Treatment) works in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) to support successful integration of substance use prevention strategies, informed by the best available evidence, into communities.

  7. Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP): Policy brief on Trauma-Informed Approaches to Address the Opioid Epidemic which reviews the evidence linking trauma and adverse childhood experiences to opioid addiction and webinar on parental substance use, opioid misuse, and child welfare.

  8. Developed by a coalition of organizations across the spectrum of the substance use field including physicians, addiction medicine specialists, recovery, treatment, and harm reduction. The Principles for the Use of Funds From the Opioid Litigation provide planning and process level guidance for state and local policymakers.

  9. Jointly produced by several national addiction experts, this comprehensive report, Evidence Based Strategies for Abatement of Harms from the Opioid Epidemic, contains recommendations and evidence-based strategies for investment of litigation settlement funds to end the opioid crisis and mitigate future harms. Funding support was provided by Arnold Ventures.

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