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Addressing the Opioid Epidemic


Every day, hospitals and health systems see the effects of the nation’s opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 33,000 people died from an opioid-related overdose in 2015. That’s more than 90 people a day or approximately four people each hour. There are also financial implications due to increased health care and substance use disorder treatment costs, lost productivity and costs to the criminal justice system, estimated to be $78.5 billion in 2016. Across the U.S., hospitals and health systems are working to address this public health crisis.

IHA has developed an opioid overdose dashboard to show trends by volume, gender and age.

Action Needed

  • Iowa is fortunate to have a relatively low opioid death rate compared to national statistics, but the rate has increased significantly over the past two decades.
  • Support funding for opioid treatment and education for clinicians and patients.
  • Reform provisions that prevent responsible sharing of health records for treatment purposes.


Stem the Tide: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic, AHA Toolkit

Iowa Healthcare Collaborative Initiatives

Premier Safety Institute: Opioids in Hospital Settings