February 1, 2018
Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled (CDC). Drug overdoses, the majority of which are from opioids, are now the leading cause of death among Americans, outnumbering both traffic accidents and gun-related deaths (CDC). More than two million Americans are estimated to be dependent on opioids (SAMHSA). An additional 95 million people used prescription painkillers in the past year — more than used tobacco (SAMHSA).
Health plans nationwide are working closely with state and federal leaders, as well as with physicians and other providers, to address the opioid crisis that is devastating individuals and their families in communities across the country. In October 2017, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) launched its Safe, Transparent Opioid Prescribing (STOP) Initiative. The STOP Initiative is designed to support widespread adoption of evidence-based clinical recommendations developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for pain care and opioid prescribing.