Medications Colorful

The American Medical Association released its annual Opioid Task Force 2020 Drug Overdose Report. This report shared that progress continues to be made to limit unsafe opioid usage, provide patients necessary treatments and lower the risk of fatal overdose deaths. 

The 2020 report findings:   

  • Opioid prescribing decreased for a sixth year in a row.  Between 2013 and 2019, the number of opioid prescriptions decreased by more than 90 million — a 37.1 percent decrease nationally. Decreases occurred in every state.   
  • PDMP registration and use continues to increase. In 2019, healthcare professionals nationwide accessed state databases more than 739million times – a 64 percent increase from 2018.  
  • Access to naloxone rising. Naloxone prescriptions increased by approximately 1 million in 2019 — the highest rate on record.   
  • Treatment capacity increasing. There are now more than 85,000 physicians and healthcare professionals certified to provide buprenorphine in office for the treatment of opioid use disorders across all 50 states — an increase of nearly 50,000 since 2017.


Jayme SteigThis report highlights successes and remaining challenges to address the opioid epidemic. Progress has been made to manage the use of prescription opioids through improved prescribing practices and use of prescription drug monitoring programs. The report also identifies opportunities for improvement including upstream interventions, such as better identifying patients at risk of an overdose and downstream interventions such as removing barriers to access medications to treat opioid use disorder,” stated Jayme Steig, PharmD, RPh; Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisor.


A link to the American Medical Association press release can be found here