Substance Use Prevention

Substance Use Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 48,000 people in the U.S. died from an opioid overdose in 2017, the highest number ever recorded. People dependent on prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become dependent on heroin. Prescription opioid misuse, overdose, and dependence also takes a financial toll, accounting for more than $78 billion a year in health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs. Yet insurers—particularly Medicare and Medicaid—have limited options for curtailing the misuse of these drugs, and prescribers need better tools to detect which patients may be at risk of harm.

Pew develops and supports policies to reduce the inappropriate use of prescription drugs while ensuring that patients have access to effective pain management. 

Additional Resources

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Agenda for America

Resources for federal, state, and local decision-makers

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

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States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.