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.
“This report highlights that the physician community is working on multiple fronts to remove barriers to evidence-based care for patients with substance use disorders and pain. Progress in reducing deaths, however, has been incredibly difficult due to a combination of factors, including the increasingly dangerous illicit drug supply contaminated with fentanyl and other toxic substances; the continued stigma faced by individuals with a substance use disorder; and the fact that health insurers, year after year, continue dragging their feet and are not stepping up to help patients access evidence-based care. We must all work together to end the epidemic and relieve the suffering experienced by every community in the United States.”
– Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, AMA President
“The fight to end the nation’s overdose epidemic and restore compassionate care: Profiles in leadership.” Read more how a select group of physicians, policymakers and patient advocates exemplify proven policies and actions that help save lives and improve outcomes for people with substance use disorders, patients with pain, and those who need harm reduction services.Read More
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.Learn More
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.Explore
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.Explore
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.
Opioid prescribing continues downward trend while overdose and death related to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine increase.Read more >
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 recentRead more >