In 2017, more than 72,000 people in the United States died from drug overdoses
— that's nearly 200 people every day.1 Around two-thirds of those overdose deaths were connected to misuse of opioids, whether prescription or illicit.2
Many factors have led to the current crisis, including: an incomplete understanding of the biological and psychological underpinnings of pain, promotion of opioid medications as nonaddictive by major pharmaceutical companies, a paradigm shift in medical education during the 1990s that framed pain as "the fifth vital sign," and the unrealistic expectations many patients have of being pain-free.3
The opioid epidemic is an urgent challenge for health systems and communities across the globe. Government, public health, nonprofit, and health care organizations are taking action alongside communities to raise awareness of the crisis and improve prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder.
However, as increasing attention is given to the opioid epidemic, it is critical that we avoid exacerbating disparities by improving care for people experiencing opioid use disorder without leaving behind those living with other substance use disorders. Long-standing and deep-rooted historical approaches to substance use disorder have produced racial and economic disparities in access to high-quality treatment that cannot be ignored.4
The Recover Hope Campaign promotes the awareness, prevention, and treatment of substance use disorders — the misuse of prescription or illicit drugs of any kind — to improve the lives of 50,000 people — individuals, families, and communities around the world — who are affected by April 2020.
Our vision is a world in which substance use disorders are not seen as a source of shame but as chronic diseases that can be prevented, managed, and treated; in which individuals are free of suffering caused by substance use disorders, communities thrive, and health care systems serve patients equitably and compassionately.
Who We Are
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School is a network of more than 800,000 change agents who apply quality improvement, patient safety, leadership, and community organizing skills and knowledge to improve health and health care around the world. We believe in the power of the current and next generation of health care professionals to take collective action to address the pressing inequities and injustices that society faces.
In 2015, we gained more than 30,000 commitments from our community to improve population health. We've done it before, and we know we can do it again.
To achieve this aim, we'll leverage the collective power of our network. We will engage 150 Open School Chapters and more than 150,000 change agents
— leaders at all levels, from students to residents, faculty, professionals, and community members
— to lead local projects to raise awareness, promote prevention, and improve treatment for substance use disorders.
View this driver diagram in Portuguese, Spanish, or French. Ver em português. Ver en español. Voir en français.
- Vital Statistics Rapid Release: Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. October 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm
- Lopez, G. 2017 was the worst year ever for drug overdose deaths in America. Vox.com. August 2018. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/8/16/17698204/opioid-epidemic-overdose-deaths-2017
- Martin L, Laderman M, Hyatt J, Krueger J. Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the United States. IHI Innovation Report. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement. April 2016. http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Publications/Addressing-Opioid-Crisis-US.aspx
- Kennedy, O. How Structural Racism Fuels the Response to the Opioid Crisis. Community Catalyst. June 2017. https://www.communitycatalyst.org/blog/how-structural-racism-fuels-the-response-to-the-opioid-crisis#.W-DKKlGovH1