Opioid Abuse in the U.S.: An Urgent Public Health Crisis

Time & Location

10:00 - 11:30 AM ET

Between 1999 and 2013, the amount of prescription painkillers dispensed in the U.S. quadrupled. In roughly the same period, both painkiller-related deaths and heroin-related deaths quadrupled as well. This is no coincidence—people who are addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin. The U.S. is now facing an epidemic of opioid abuse, but promising interventions could turn the tide.

This webinar featured innovative efforts to reverse opioid abuse trends, including:

  • Payer collaboration with providers and pharmacies to improve access to appropriate pain care
  • Federal actions to reform prescribing practices and expand access to medication-assisted treatment for addiction
  • Interventions to reduce drug abuse among pregnant women and to improve treatment for babies born dependent
  • Strategies for raising awareness of the risks associated with painkiller addiction


Federal Initiatives for Prescription Opioids and Heroin

Cecelia McNamara Spitnaz

The White House Office of Drug Control Policy

Federal Initiatives to Address Opioid-Drug Related Overdoses and Deaths

Grant T. Baldwin


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Opioid Safety Management Program

Tom Kowalski

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Wellspring Center for Addiction Help and Resources

Dawn Marion Abel

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Wellspring Center for Addiction Help and Resources

Geogy Thomas

Dayspring Family Health Center

Project Hope: Awareness Campaign

Julie Snyder

HealthNow New York Inc.


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