The Opioid Overdose Crisis

Related Chapters:

Looking for a referral to, or more information about, mental health or substance use treatment services? The American Board of Preventive Medicine provides this service to locate physicians who are certified in specialists in Addiction Medicine

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a free, confidential National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
"SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information."
SAMHSA's website also offers a free, confidential Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.

Page last updated June 10, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.

41. Definition of Diversion of Licit, Legally Prescribed Drugs

"'Drug diversion' is best defined as the diversion of licit drugs for illicit purposes. It involves the diversion of drugs from legal and medically necessary uses towards uses that are illegal and typically not medically authorized or necessary."

"Drug Diversion in the Medicaid Program: State Strategies for Reducing Prescription Drug Diversion in Medicaid," Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Baltimore, MD: January 2012), p. 1.

42. Prevalence and Cost of Migraines

"Migraine headaches are a major public health problem affecting more than 28 million persons in this country.1 Nearly 25 percent of women and 9 percent of men experience disabling migraines.2,3 The impact of these headaches on patients and their families is tremendous, with many patients reporting frequent and significant disability.4 The economic burden of migraine headaches in the United States is also tremendous. Persons with migraines lose an average of four to six work days each year, with an annual total loss nationwide of 64 to 150 million work days. The estimated direct and indirect costs of migraine approach $17 billion.5,6 Despite the prevalence of migraines and the availability of multiple treatment options, this condition is often undiagnosed and untreated.7 About one half of patients stop seeking medical care for their migraines, in part because of dissatisfaction with the therapy they have received.4"

Aukerman, Glen; Knutson, Doug; and Miser, William F. M., "Management of the Acute Migraine Headache," American Family Physician (Shawnee Mission, KS: American Academy of Family Physicians, December 2002), Volume 66, Issue 11, p. 2123.

43. Global Pain Growth Projection

"In the future, the global need for pain medicine will increase rapidly. In developed and developing countries, the world’s population is aging, resulting in an increase of the prevalence of chronic, painful conditions and cancer. By 2025, there will be 1.2 billion people over the age of 60, which is double the current estimate of 600 million.14 Future demand for such care is also expected to rise due to the dramatically expanding prevalence of HIV/AIDS in several parts of the world. Tragically, the greatest need for pain relief is increasingly concentrated in developing countries, where access to morphine and other opioid analgesics is inadequate or non-existent. For example, WHO estimates that the burden of cancer will increasingly shift from industrialized countries to developing states, so that by the year 2020, 70 percent of the estimated 20 million new cancer cases will occur in developing states.15"

Taylor, Allyn L. "Addressing the Global Tragedy of Needless Pain: Rethinking the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs," Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Law Center, January 2008 ) Vol. 35, No. 556, p. 558.

44. Insurance Barriers to Adequate Pain Treatment

"Costly team care, expensive medications, and procedural interventions—all common types of treatment for pain—are not readily obtained by the 19 percent of Americans under age 65 who lack health insurance coverage (Holahan, 2011) or by the additional 14 percent of under-65 adults who are underinsured (Schoen et al., 2008). Together, these groups make up one-third of the nation’s population. Lack of insurance coverage also may contribute to disparities in care. An inability to pay for pain care is especially prevalent among minorities and women (Green et al., 2011). As discussed above, even for people with insurance coverage, third-party reimbursement systems tend not to cover or to cover well psychosocial services and team approaches that represent the best care for people with the most difficult pain problems. Surmounting this barrier may require coordinated action by advocates for improvement."

Institute of Medicine, "Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research" (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), p. 156.

45. Prevalence Of Persistent Pain Among Adults In The US

"Approximately 19.0% of adults in the United States reported persistent pain in 2010, but prevalence rates vary significantly by subgroup (Table 1). Older adults are much more likely to report persistent pain than younger adults, with adults aged 60 to 69 at highest risk (AOR = 4.0, 95% CI = 2.7–5.8). Women are at slightly higher risk than men (AOR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2–1.7), as are adults who did not graduate from high school (AOR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1–1.7). Approximately half of adults who rated their health as fair or poor say they suffer from persistent pain (AOR = 4.7, 95% CI = 3.7–6.0). Recent hospitalization (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.3–2.1) and obesity (AOR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.3–2.0) are also linked to higher rates of persistent pain. In contrast, Latino (AOR = .5, 95% CI = .4–.6) and African American (AOR = .6, 95% CI = .4–.7) adults are less likely to report persistent pain than their white counterparts."

Jae Kennedy, John M. Roll, Taylor Schraudner, Sean Murphy, and Sterling McPherson, "Prevalence of Persistent Pain in the U.S. Adult Population: New Data From the 2010 National Health Interview Survey," The Journal of Pain, Vol. 15, No. 10 (October), 2014, pp. 979-984.