In recent years we’ve seen a growing epidemic of opioid abuse, with tragic consequences for the Nation’s public health. The number of opioid overdoses has increased at a shocking pace. In 2015, an average of more than 90 people died each day from opioid overdose.1
The misuse of opioids such as prescription pain medications and heroin has become widespread across the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recognized opioid use disorder (OUD) as a national crisis, creating an initiative that targets three areas:
- Opioid prescribing practices,
- Expanded use and distribution of naloxone to treat overdose, and
- Increased access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for OUD.
Each HHS agency has identified policy steps they can take in alignment with their mandates to help address these problems.