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AHRQ Opioids

Deaths from drug overdoses have risen steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Prescription drugs, especially opioids, have been increasingly implicated in drug overdose deaths over the last decade. In response to recent increases in opioid-related morbidity and mortality, HHS has made addressing the opioid problem a priority. HHS is focused on implementing evidence-based approaches to reduce opioid overdoses and overdose-related mortality and the prevalence of opioid use disorder.

AHRQ, along with other HHS Operating and Staff Divisions, supports the HHS 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioids Crisis, which includes:

  • Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
  • Better data.
  • Better research.
  • Better targeting of overdose-reversing drugs.
  • Better pain management.


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