The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today issued a report recommending actions to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of the prescription and illicit opioid epidemics. According to the report, requested by the Food and Drug Administration, it is possible to stem the escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access to opioids for patients suffering from pain, but that years of sustained and coordinated efforts will be required. Among other actions, the report recommends promoting more judicious prescribing of opioids, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, preventing more overdose deaths, weighing societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions, and investing in research to better understand the nature of pain and develop non-addictive alternatives.

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