Skip Navigation

Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness

Prescription Opioids

Prescription drugs provide therapeutic value to millions of Americans.  At the same time, rates of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths are skyrocketing. The annual number of fatal drug overdoses in the United States now surpasses those of motor vehicle deaths. The Center supports innovative research and public advocacy to help stem this epidemic.

In May 2014, a diverse group of experts - including clinicians, researchers, government officials, injury prevention professionals, law enforcement leaders, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, lawyers, health insurers and patient representatives - gathered at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The group convened to review what is known about the prescription opioid epidemic; to identify strategies for reversing the alarming trends in injuries and deaths from these drugs; and to make recommendations for action. In the months that followed, work groups reviewed the available evidence.


Highlights from May 2014 Townhall (9:41)



Release of Opioid Report November 2015

In November 2015, the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, in partnership with the Center for Injury Research & Policy and the Clinton Foundation, released a comprehensive report focused on providing concrete, evidence-based solutions to the opioid epidemic.  View the event page and official report, “The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach.”

CHMI invite

The event, co-hosted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), built on momentum and progress from the 2014 town hall, and convened thought leaders from across industries and sectors to discuss evidence-based solutions designed to address the epidemic from a holistic approach. Speakers and panelists presented recommendations from cross-disciplinary work groups focused on areas ranging from community-based prevention strategies to addiction treatment initiatives. Those in attendance had the opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with each other as well as working-group leads through facilitated discussion modules.