Since 1999, U.S. opioid prescriptions have quadrupled--and so, too, have deaths from opioid overdose. Each day, 91 Americans die from that cause. The economic impact of the epidemic is estimated at $55 billion per year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This private discussion will explore the causes of and potential solutions to the opioid epidemic, addressing questions such as:
- If Americans are not reporting significantly higher levels of pain, why are pain medication prescriptions rising so sharply? What interventions can address this problem in the health-care setting?
- What role does America's longstanding war on drugs play in driving addicts toward prescription opioids, and what policies might mitigate this?
- What interventions are most effective in breaking opioid addiction, and how can they be deployed broadly?
- How can federal, state and community government agencies, along with companies and nonprofits, best address this challenge?