Statement by Andrew Kolodny, MD Co-Founder, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Medical Director, Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, Brandeis Universit

“The opioid crisis is best understood as an epidemic of opioid addiction. When I use the term “epidemic” I am referring specifically to the very sharp increase in the number of Americans suffering from opioid use disorder that occurred over the past 25 years. During the first 12 years of the epidemic, there was a 900% increase in the number of Americans seeking treatment for addiction to prescription opioids. It is the increased prevalence of opioid use disorder that explains why we are experiencing record high levels of opioid-related overdose deaths. It is the reason we are seeing fentanyl flood into our communities. It is the reason we have seen a soaring increase in infants born opioid dependent and children entering the foster care system and outbreaks of injection-related infectious diseases and an impact on our workforce.”

Download full statement here (PDF, 248k)