Opioid toxicity and abuse is a public health concern in the United States. There has been an alarming increase in the number of opioid-related deaths in recent years. In 2016, the United States saw more than 63,600 deaths from drug overdose, and 66% (42,249 fatalities) of those involved opioids. This opioid crisis has significantly raised awareness of prescription pain killers, as well as illicit opioids like heroin. Currently, 40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. In 2016, more than 46 people died every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.
Benefits of high-dose opioids for chronic pain are not established. At the same time, risks for serious harm related to opioid therapy increases at higher dosages, and in combination with other medications that affect the nervous system. Molina Healthcare encourages safe and appropriate opioid prescription and utilization based on scientific evidence.
Molina Healthcare is committed to doing its part to help improve the safety of members who suffer from opioid use disorders, and to helping prevent problems related to opioid use. As part of a comprehensive Pain Safety Initiative, Molina Healthcare offers resources to enhance the knowledge available to its providers, and to support safe pain management practices.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prescription Opioid Overdose Data. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html
2. National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief, No 294, Dec 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db294.pdf
Provider Education: Opioid Safety & Guidelines