Reversing the Epidemic

America’s overdose epidemic has been characterized as 4 distinct and interrelated epidemics: prescription opioids, heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, and stimulants. Even though physicians have decreased prescribing of opioid analgesics, America’s patients are currently facing a drug overdose – both fatal and non-fatal – epidemic that is fueled by illicit drugs, including counterfeit fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, psychostimulants, heroin, cocaine, and drug combinations.

2022 AMA Overdose Epidemic Report

The American Medical Association Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force continues to advance evidence-based recommendations for policymakers and physicians to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic. Physicians’ positive actions, however, are limited by an insufficient focus on meaningful policy implementation and enforcement to support affordable, accessible, evidence-based care for patients with a substance use disorder, pain, or access to harm reduction services such as naloxone, syringe services programs and fentanyl test strips.

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The AMA and Manatt Health 2022 State Toolkit

The AMA and Manatt Health 2022 State Toolkit identifies more than 400 state laws, regulations, policy guidance and other select national actions being implemented to help end the nation's drug overdose epidemic. We encourage all states to use this resource as a go-to guide to increase access to evidence-based treatment and save lives from overdose.

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Recommendations

The nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic has changed and worsened. As a result, the AMA has united the Opioid and Pain Care Task Forces in a new, collective effort – the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force – to increase the urgency for evidence-based solutions.

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Awareness

The AMA offers high-quality resources related to the use of data to shift from “response” to “prevention” of overdose, stigma, and educational opportunities for physicians and other medical professionals who seek to stay current and continuously improve the care they provide.

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Physician Stories

Physicians demonstrate leadership everyday to help their patients with a substance use disorder–or chronic pain. Learn more about physician leadership to end the e pidemic.

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Highlights

Physicians demonstrate leadership every day in their practice to help patients with pain and those with a substance use disorder. These are a few of their stories.

2022 AMA Overdose Epidemic Report

Opioid prescribing continues downward trend while overdose and death related to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine increase.

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Action needed to help justice-involved individuals who have a substance use disorder

There is no legal, medical or policy reason to deny access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) for justice-involved persons, according to leading medical, legal and health policy experts speaking on recent

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How one Nebraska addiction psychiatrist tirelessly advocates for her patients

When Alena Balasanova, MD, started the addiction psychiatry consultation-liaison service at the University o

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to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic.