Learn what’s working in the United States.

Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.¹ The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.²

The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control recently released the document, Evidence-Based Strategies for Preventing Opioid Overdose, to assist community leaders, local and regional organizers, non-profit groups, law enforcement, public health, and members of the public in understanding and navigating effective strategies to prevent opioid overdose in their communities.

The document highlights evidence-based practices that have been successfully implemented in the U.S. and are effective in reducing rates of opioid overdose. It also explains how and why these strategies work, summaries of major research on these topics, and examples of organizations from across the U.S. that have excelled at putting these strategies into practice. Strategies include naloxone distribution, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), addressing opioid use in criminal justice settings, syringe services and more.

This document provides an excellent overview of evidence-based practices to reduce opioid overdose. Many of these practices are being implemented at the state and community level throughout the Great Plains QIN. ~ Jayme Steig, PharmD, RPh, Quality Improvement Program Manager, Great Plains QIN

1CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality. CDC WONDER, Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018. https://wonder.cdc.gov.
2Florence CS, Zhou C, Luo F, Xu L. The Economic Burden of Prescription Opioid Overdose, Abuse, and Dependence in the United States, 2013. Med Care. 2016;54(10):901-906. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000000625.