[Skip to Navigation]
Invited Commentary
February 11, 2019

Opioid Prescribing Trends and the Physician’s Role in Responding to the Public Health Crisis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of the Surgeon General, US Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
  • 2Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, US Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(4):476-478. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7934

The opioid overdose epidemic affects millions of Americans and their families. Nationwide polls reveal that 49% of respondents personally know someone who is or has been addicted to prescription opioid medication.1 In 2017, more than 49 000 people died in the United States of opioid overdoses, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2 This crisis has spanned different phases, beginning with increased overdose deaths from prescription opioids, which then evolved to increased heroin overdose deaths, and most recently manifesting as a dramatic spike in overdose deaths from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words