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  • Take the frist in the series of online trainings for providers on the opioid prescribing guideline.
  • 15% increase in opioid death rates is driven in large part by illicit opioids.
  • image of the mobile app; The new Opioid Guide App is an easily accessible tool to help prescribers put CDC's Guideline into practice
  • Learn more about the role of pharmacists in preventing opioid use disorder and overdose.
  • COCA Webinar Series: Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
  • Turn the Tide. Be the Solution. Join the Movement. Join Now.
  • Since 1999, sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. have quadrupled.
  • Heroin use is part of a larger substance abuse problem. CDC Vital Signs

The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.

Opioids (including prescription opioids  and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

What Can You Do to Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths?

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The Public

Learn more about opioids in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose.

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Consider ways to increase use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, which are among the most promising state-level interventions.

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Health Care Providers

Consider CDC’s opioid prescribing guideline for chronic pain, which helps primary care providers offer safer, more effective care.

CDC’s Work to Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths

CDC is committed to an approach that protects the public’s health and prevents opioid overdose deaths.

Improving Data

Improving data quality and timeliness to better track trends, identify communities at risk, and evaluate prevention strategies.

Strengthening State Efforts

Strengthening state efforts by scaling up effective interventions.

Equipping Health Care Providers

Improving patient safety by equipping health care providers with the data and tools needed to improve opioid prescribing.

New Guideline Resources

Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

New Opioid Guideline Resources are available for providers, patients, and partners.

HHS Efforts

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell has made addressing opioid abuse, dependence, and overdose a priority. The evidence-based initiative focuses on three promising areas: informing opioid prescribing practices, increasing the use of naloxone, and using Medication-Assisted Treatment to move people out of opioid addiction. Several agencies within HHS have joined the effort.

Note: The CDC Opioid Overdose site contains information on opioids. To see more of CDC’s work on other substances, visit the CDC A-Z index.

Assess. Manage. Monitor. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain