Misuse leading to overdose and addiction to opioids has reached epidemic proportions in America and requires a comprehensive, public health approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 63,632 lethal drug overdoses in 2016. Of these, 19,413 were related to synthetic opioids and 15,469 were related to heroin.


Combatting this public health emergency will require systemic and sustainable changes to our addiction treatment infrastructure and workforce, as well as expanded access to comprehensive, evidenced-based treatment. 


To successfully reverse the course of the opioid epidemic, we must:

  • Equip states, payers and frontline caregivers with the tools and resources necessary to build an evidence-based addiction treatment infrastructure and deliver care that meets ASAM standards and guidelines;
  • Lead the transformation of the addiction treatment workforce by implementing competency-based education for all healthcare providers and increasing the skills and confidence of addiction specialists and other clinicians who actively treat patients;
  • Expand access to FDA-approved medications that are proven to reduce cravings, improve treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths; and
  • Increase access to care in communities where evidence-based treatment is not currently available. 

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