About Us

Evidence from our recently completed, CDC UM Injury Center-funded, efficacy trial indicates that emergency department patients at risk for prescription opioid overdose will reduce their level of overdose risk behaviors in response to a motivational interviewing-based intervention.  In this study, participants randomized to the intervention had a 40.5% reduction in level of overdose risk behaviors, compared to 14.7% in controls.  These findings are promising for addressing the gap in services for individuals at risk for overdose through a relatively low-cost, public health-oriented strategy.

However, although this study used broad inclusion criteria and was found to be applicable across a broad array of patients, the intervention was developed for a specific setting (emergency department) and with specific research-funded interventionists (master's- level therapists). OPT-IN is taking the next steps to develop tools and materials to deliver the intervention from research into clinical practice and community outreach settings.

OPT-IN is an evidence-based intervention to improve opioid safety and reduce opioid related overdoses. It is based in harm reduction and uses Motivational Interviewing to discuss these topics with clients.

What is the mission of the website?

This website aims to create a space where the OPT-IN Intervention and screening tool can be available for dissemination and implementation to anyone who may want to use it. The website also aims to provide anyone who wants to use OPT-IN intervention or screen with all the materials or resources they need to implement this program in their agency, clinic, or hospital.

Who is the target audience?

This website was created for agencies to get a sense of what the OPT-IN intervention is and whether they would like to implement it at their site. The website will be useful to anyone who is going to have a conversation with a client about opioid safety and overdose knowledge should review the training materials under the Intervention Training section.

Who developed and funded this program and website?

The University of Michigan Injury Center developed this program and website. The website was developed along with the Center for Managing Chronic Disease. Bibliography and grants that supported the research and dissemination of OPT-IN

Where can I learn more information about this program?

If you want more information, please contact us at UM-OPT-INProject@med.umich.edu.

Amy Bohnert

Amy Bohnert, Ph.D., M.H.S. is a mental health services researcher with training in public health who focuses her research on epidemiology and brief interventions regarding substance use and related disorders. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan and affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), an HSR&D Center of Innovation.

Within a team of collaborators at the University of Michigan and the Department of Veterans Affairs, she has led a number of projects related to overdose and prescription drug safety. A number of her research activities have been specifically aimed at improving care occurring in substance use disorder treatment settings. Dr. Bohnert has demonstrated a particular expertise in applying epidemiology methods to the analysis of electronic health records-based datasets to answer important questions for health services delivery. Dr. Bohnert was one of the Co-Principal Investigators (PI) on the OPT-IN efficacy study.


Erin Bonar

Erin Bonar, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. She investigates the links between substance use and risky behaviors, particularly HIV risk behaviors, in vulnerable populations with special attention to the role of social cognitive factors.

Dr. Bonar is interested in developing and adapting interventions augmented by mHealth for prevention and treatment of substance use and related conditions. She is also involved in medical education and teaches Motivational Interviewing to medical trainees. In addition, Dr. Bonar focuses her research on optimizing substance use interventions across community settings, including health care settings and tertiary substance use disorder treatment, particularly among emerging adults. Dr. Bonar was one of the Co-PIs on the OPT-IN efficacy study.


Phillip Coffin

Phillip Coffin M.D., MIA is a board-certified and practicing internist, infectious disease specialist, and addiction medicine specialist. He attended or trained at Brown University, Columbia University, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of Washington. He directs the Center on Substance Use and Health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, including clinical trials assessing medications for multiple

substance use disorders and interventions for opioid safety, overdose prevention, HIV prevention, and Hepatitis C treatment.

Dr. Coffin also conducts several studies into the impacts of changing opioid prescribing practices on vulnerable populations, substance use epidemiology, and initiatives addressing substance use and opioid safety in clinical care.


Gina Dahlem

Chin H wa (Gina) Dahlem, Ph.D, FNP-C, FAANP is a Family Nurse Practitioner whose clinical focus has been delivering primary care services for complex care populations particularly for people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Dahlem teaches at the graduate level for Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner students. Her research focuses on opioid overdose prevention and education using naloxone and developing health risk assessments for clinical use. She has helped to lead opioid overdose prevention trainings for police departments throughout Southeast Michigan and community organizations.

Dr. Dahlem is committed to implementing strong didactic, interactive, and experiential approaches to learning that values an evidence-based approach to practice, combining theory and research. To this end, she strives to be a constant learner and values mentoring nurse practitioner students in class and in practice who will continue to impact the health of the community.


Maureen Walton

Maureen Walton, Ph.D., M.P.H. is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She is also the Associate Chair for Child Research at the Addiction Center and the lead for research on intentional injury at the Injury Prevention Center. Dr. Walton collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams of clinicians and researchers, including faculty in emergency medicine, nursing, public health, and computer science. She has received funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Walton’s overall career goal is to conduct innovative research to maximize public health impact on the prevention and treatment of substance use and violence among youth. She has particular expertise in developing e-health and m-health approaches such as web, text messaging, social media, and smartphone apps.


Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas, LMSW, MPH, CCRP is a licensed clinical social worker and Project Manager at the University of Michigan and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ms. Thomas has been working in opioid-focused research with Dr. Bohnert since 2013. Ms. Thomas has conducted brief Motivational Interviewing (MI)-based interventions on research studies in the emergency department, addiction treatment facilities, and primary care clinics. Ms. Thomas has trained and supervised others in MI-focused interventions for opioid safety – within research projects and non-research community organizations. The projects that Ms. Thomas has worked on span across the University of Michigan and the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase opioid safety and reduce overdose risk behaviors while incorporating Motivational Interviewing and Harm Reduction.

If you are interested in using this program, licensing information can be found at the University of Michigan's Office of Tech Transfer site for OPT-IN.

Please contact us at UM-OPT-INProject@med.umich.edu to learn more about using this program and associated training opportunities that are available to your organization and staff. We greatly appreciate you using this program.

If you have questions or suggestions, please use this form to reach out to the OPT-IN team.