CHICAGO — The American Medical Association’s Opioid Task Force report (PDF) released today shows a dramatic increase in fatalities involving illicit opioids, stimulants (e.g. methamphetamine), heroin and cocaine and a similarly dramatic drop in the use of prescription opioids.
The changing landscape of the opioid epidemic poses challenges for the health care system, which must pivot to treat people in danger of overdose from all drugs. The AMA is calling on stakeholders—including health insurers and policymakers—to remove barriers to evidence-based care. Red tape and misguided policies are grave dangers to pain patients and those with an opioid-use disorder.