Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

"The United States is in the midst of a prescription opioid overdose epidemic. In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from opioid overdose, and at least half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid. Many more became addicted to prescription and illegal opioids. Heroin-related deaths have also increased sharply, more than tripling since 2010. In 2014, more than 10,500 people died from heroin." The Opioid Epidemic: By the Numbers, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, June 2016.

This page lists resources that describe the causes, scope and severity of the opioid crisis as well as efforts underway to combat it.



Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Public Policy/Research

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic: Balancing Societal and Individual Benefits and Risks of Prescription Opioid Use. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Special Series. Annals of Surgery. April 2017 - Volume 265 - Issue 4. Annals of Surgery looks at the opioid crisis. 

Kolodny A, Frieden TR. Ten Steps the Federal Government Should Take Now to Reverse the Opioid Addiction Epidemic. JAMA. 2017;318(16):1537–1538.

Opioids in Medicare Part D: Concerns about Extreme Use and Questionable Prescribing, HHS OIG Data Brief, July 2017

CMS Opioid Misuse Strategy 2016

Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

Joint Commission Enhances Pain Assessment and Management Requirements for Accredited Hospitals, The Joint Commission, effective Jan. 1, 2018

Opioids: The Prescription Drug & Heroin Overdose Epidemic, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. Includes section on Health Professionals Resources. Central source for federal resources on the opioid crisis.

Trends in Opioid-Related Hospitalizations, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

CHA Member Efforts

Opioids – One More Epidemic for Catholic Health Care (Health Progress, March-April 2018)

St. Vincent Charity teams with police to improve access to opioid treatment (Catholic Health World, Feb. 1, 2018)

In fight against addiction, Pennsylvania opens doors to those seeking recovery (Catholic Health World, Nov. 15, 2017)

CHI St. Gabriel

Clinicians scrutinize pain treatments to curb opioid use (Catholic Health World, Feb. 15, 2017)

Grief over opioid deaths gets special attention at Lourdes Hospital (Catholic Health World, Sept. 15, 2017)

SSM Health aids opioid-addicted pregnant women (Catholic Health World, March 15, 2017)

Saint Francis tests medical marijuana to reduce opioid dosing (Catholic Health World, March 15, 2017)

St. Joseph's pursues alternatives in pain management (Catholic Health World, Jan. 15, 2017)

Trinity Health teams up to cut opioid abuse (Pharmacy Practice News, July 10, 2017)


First Do No Harm: Marshaling Clinician Leadership to Combat the Opioid Epidemic, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017

American Hospital Association resources on addressing the opioid epidemic.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources. Includes section on Overdose Prevention in States.

Disposal of unused medications: what you should know, FDA

Hope and Healing : A practical toolkit for faith and community leaders in the face of the opioid epidemicFaith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Guideline Clearinghouse: community management of opioid overdose, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

National Quality Partners Playbook™: Opioid Stewardship, March 2018

The Opioid Crisis in America, HarvardX on Edx. Learn about the opioid epidemic in the United States, including information about treatment and recovery from opioid addiction

The Opioid Crisis: Hospital Prevention and ResponseEssential Hospitals Institute, June 2017

Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, SAMSHA, 2016. This free toolkit offers strategies to health care providers, communities, and local governments for developing practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths.

Premier Safety Institute resources on opioids and patient safety.

Taking Action to Address Opioid Misuse, Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, funded by SAMSHA.