Our country is facing an unparalleled public health crisis. Every day, 91 Americans die from an overdose of prescription painkillers or heroin – commonly referred to as opioids. What often starts as treatment for pain too frequently ends in addiction. Opioid overdose and addiction is costing the American economy more than $78.5 billion annually, and is leading to the largest rise in heroin use in 20 years.

As the healthcare partner to 1 in 3 Americans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies stand committed to our members, our communities and to fighting America’s opioid crisis.

Local Solutions to a National Problem

Find out how BCBS companies are working to improve the health of communities around the country.

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Committed to Healthier Communities, Nationwide

Promoting Education and Understanding

Support education and awareness through community engagement and partnerships to help people better understand the risks of opioid misuse.

Fostering Research

Develop collaborative research partnerships that will identify a better system of care for opioid use disorder and addiction.

Ensuring Patient-Focused Care

Promote evidence-based, coordinated care for the treatment of individuals suffering from opioid use disorder and addiction.

What are opioids?

Opioid medications are drugs that can be prescribed by a doctor to help relieve pain. They are often referred to by their brand name1, including OxyContin®, Vicodin® and Percocet®. Heroin is also an opioid, but is illegal.

Disposing Unused Prescription Medications

Too often prescription medications sit unused in home medicine cabinets, making it too easy for them to get in the wrong hands. Keep your family safe by ridding your home of unused or expired medications.

Twice a year, BCBS companies around the country support the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Drug Take-Back Day. This daylong event makes it easy and free to dispose of unwanted medications. Visit the National Drug Take-Back Day to find a disposal site near you.

1 OxyContin® is a registered trademark owned by Purdue Pharma L.P.  Vicodin® is a registered trademark owned by AbbVie Inc.  Percocet® is a registered trademark owned by Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.