Helping You Identify Opioid
Misuse and Assist Patients
Information for Health Care Professionals
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Opioid Abuse Hasn’t Just Persisted—It’s Gotten Worse

In 2019, 137 people died every day in the United States from opioid overdose.1 Our nation is suffering from a public health crisis, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19, and prescribers can be part of the solution.

Since the first reported case of COVID-19 in the United States in January 2020, suspected overdoses increased 20% over the following 3-month period compared with the year before.2 During the pandemic, more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality.3

Brought to you by Partnership to End Addiction, Search and Rescue is a prescriber education campaign operating on a grant from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)* with the sole purpose of providing health care professionals with the tools and resources they need to help patients avoid prescription drug misuse, abuse, and addiction.

graphic of medicine bottle
Between 21% and 29%

of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them4

What You Can Do To Make A Difference5

Start by Prescribing Non-opioid Pain Relief Whenever Possible

If opioids appear to be necessary, begin with the lowest effective dosage and a short-term prescription

Check your state's PDMP to monitor your patient's prescribing activity

To better minimize risk of patient death, avoid prescribing benzodiazepines along with opioids

Use the other resources available through Search and Rescue

Opioid Abuse Today

  • people grpahic

    In 2019, 1.4 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers6

  • pen and book graphic

    4 out of 5 people who use heroin misused a prescription opioid first7

  • map 40+

    More than 40 states have reported increased opioid-related mortality during the pandemic3

An Expert Approach to Opioids

Find out how to safely reduce patient risk before you prescribe and during treatment.

*This campaign is supported by the FDA of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of financial assistance award U18FD004593, with 100% funded by the FDA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, the FDA/HHS or the US Government.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overdose Death Rates. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  2. Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program. The consequences of COVID-19 on the overdose epidemic: Overdoses are increasing. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  3. American Medical Association. Issue brief: Reports of increases in opioid- and other drug-related overdose and other concerns during COVID pandemic. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  4. Vowles KE, McEntee ML, Julnes PS, Frohe T, Ney JP, van der Goes DN. Rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction in chronic pain: a systematic review and data synthesis. Pain. 2015;156(4):569-576.
  5. Why guidelines for primary care providers? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Results From the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Published September 2020. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  7. Jones CM. Heroin use and heroin use risk behaviors among nonmedical users of prescription opioid pain relievers—United States, 2002-2004 and 2008-2010. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;132(1-2):95-100.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). Accessed April 5, 2021.
  9. Prescription drug monitoring frequently asked questions (FAQ). Brandeis University. Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Technical Assistance Center website. Accessed March 21, 2021.
  10. U.S. State Opioid Dispensing Rates, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Accessed April 5, 2021.