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Addressing the Opioid Epidemic through Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, and Deterrence

September 2019
Full report

The opioid epidemic requires a system-wide response. Elevance Health and its affiliated health plans partner with a range of stakeholders including policymakers, consumers, care providers, law enforcement, and others to promote prevention, improve treatment and recovery, and deter potentially harmful behavior.

Opioids have had a profound impact on overall health and wellbeing in the U.S. They contributed to over two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2017 — resulting in more deaths than the HIV/AIDS epidemic at its peak in 1995. Opioids have cost the U.S. economy over $1 trillion between 2001 and 2017 due to lost productivity and higher healthcare spending, among other factors.

Elevance Health and its affiliated health plans are at the forefront in preventing and treating opioid misuse and opioid use disorder. Plans are taking steps to reduce opioid prescriptions while enhancing access to services such as Medication-Assisted Treatment and alternative treatments for chronic pain.


  • Overview of the opioid epidemic
  • Initiatives focused on prevention
  • Improving access to treatment and recovery
  • Efforts to deter activities that contribute to opioid misuse
  • Outlook & remaining challenges

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