Opioid Addiction: It’s Time to Act
By Lisa Suter
It’s common to hear innocent jokes about being addicted to caffeine, sugar or the latest Netflix series, but addiction is a serious matter. Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance abuse despite harmful consequence, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Evian Gordon with our partner at Total Brain, provides additional perspective: “The process of addiction unfolds similarly to sinking into quicksand. You went out for a fun adventure, only to become ensconced in the mire, brain hijacked by cravings and unable to resurface on your own.”
Opioid Addiction and Its Impact in the U.S.
Opioids (prescription pain relievers) are one of the fastest growing substances people in the U.S. are developing an addiction to, and at a huge cost:
- Roughly 21 to 29% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and between 8-12% develop an opioid use disorder
- 130 people in the U.S. die every day due to an opioid addiction (a leading cause of death for Americans)
- The total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement
Welltok Can Help You Address the Opioid Crisis
Opioid addiction is a major public health concern that employers, health plans and providers can all play a role in addressing. As an organization, there are many things you can do to be better prepared to address the opioid crisis. But knowing where to start, and with what solutions, can be difficult.
With the Welltok Connect Partner Ecosystem we make it easy for you to provide resources that address multiple facets of the opioid crisis, from education and prevention, to treatment and recovery. We do this by partnering with some of the highest-quality solutions available on the market, including:
Telespine: an online system of care offering expert treatment and management of low back pain, helping eliminate the costs of drugs, doctor visits or unnecessary procedures
Total Brain: a mental health and fitness platform that helps individuals understand and train their brain so they can manage mental health the same way as physical health
Workit Health: a modern addiction health benefit, offering individuals struggling with addiction expert, evidence-based addiction care on their mobile phones over live chat and video
By offering these types of services you’ll also help reduce the stigma associated with addiction, by making it OK and easy for people to use them.
Too many individuals have suffered from or lost their lives to opioid addiction. The time to act is now. Let’s work together to help those struggling with addiction and to prevent others from developing an addiction in the future.
If you're interested in learning how you can apply Welltok's Connect Partner Ecosystem to your population, click here to view a list of our available partners or schedule time here to chat with a Welltok expert.