BCBS Companies Are Leading Efforts to Combat Opioid Abuse

Opioid addiction in the United States has escalated into a deadly epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkillers and heroin are claiming the lives of 91 Americans every day. What often starts as treatment for pain too frequently ends in addiction to painkillers, leading to the largest rise in heroin use in over 20 years and costing more than $78.5 billion annually in direct healthcare costs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are committed to addressing the nation’s growing opioid crisis community by community, nationwide. As part of this commitment, we have a number of initiatives underway, including: 

  • Increasing awareness and education by partnering with a PBS affiliate to produce a free educational documentary;
  • Leveraging the BCBS System’s industry-leading data capabilities to uncover deeper insights into the prevalence of opioid addiction in the U.S. and collaborating with leading research institutions to develop a framework for improving the treatment of substance use disorder and addiction; and
  • Promoting best practices by convening an executive-level committee of top BCBS System experts in pharmacology, psychology, behavioral health, addiction, policy, strategy and business to coordinate systemwide efforts for the successful treatment of patients suffering from opioid addiction.

BCBSA is committed to providing leadership and advancing public policy to prevent prescription-drug abuse and increase patient safety.

Learn more about BCBSA’s work on opioid addiction here.