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Postoperative Opioids: A Doorway to Addiction

For the first time in history, Americans are more likely to die from opioid overdoses than car crashes1. While society tends to link the opioid epidemic to chronic pain, recent research reveals even short-term use of opioids to treat pain after surgery is leading to high rates of addiction and dependence2. In fact, 1-in-15 patients prescribed an opioid to manage postsurgical pain report becoming dependent on or addicted to the drug3.

How did we get here? Each year,

surgical procedures happen
in the United States.3

are prescribed opioids
for pain management.2

as many as 6.5% of these patients (2.6 million people) are first exposed to opioids as they recover from surgery.3

Of these 2.6 million persistent opioid users,

about 440,000 will become addicted to opioids.4

of the annual healthcare costs associated with addiction can be attributed to postoperative pain management.3,4,5

The Surgical Taskforce Organized to Prevent Opioid Abuse (STOP Opioid Abuse)

Dedicated to inspiring healthcare providers, patients, and payers across the country to take action and commit to reducing unnecessary exposure to opioids in the surgical setting.

Our vision is simple: better post-surgical pain management with fewer opioids.

Member Organizations

The following organizations are committed to this cause and have joined STOP Opioid Abuse.

Sponsor Organizations

1. Injury Facts, https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/all-injuries/overview/. 2. Hill, Maureen V., Michelle L. McMahon, Ryland S. Stucke, and Richard J. Barth Jr. 2017. “Wide Variation and Excessive Dosage of Opioid Prescriptions for Common General Surgical Procedures.” Annals of Surgery 265 (4): 709–714. 3. Brummett, Chad M., Jennifer F. Waljee, Jenna Goesling, Stephanie Moser, Paul Lin, Michael J. Englesbe, Amy S. B. Bohnert, Sachin Kheterpal, and Brahmajee K. Nallamothu. 2017. “New Persistent Opioid Use After Minor and Major Surgical Procedures in US Adults.” JAMA Surgery 152 (6): e170504. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.0504. 4. Banta-Green, C. J., Merrill, J. O., Doyle, S. R., Boudreau, D. M., & Calsyn, D. A. (2009). Opioid use behaviors, mental health and pain --Development of a typology of chronic pain patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 104(1 -2), 34 -42.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.03.021. 5. The Council of Economic Advisers, 2017. The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis.


Let's work together to manage postoperative pain effectively and safely without opioids.