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The Opioid Epidemic

Man Receiving Care

Opioid addiction affects millions of Americans and their families across all races and income levels. As our members’ trusted health care partner, we want to help them get support and recovery services in a compassionate environment.

What are opioids?

Opioids are a broad group of pain-relieving drugs. They include pain relievers available legally by prescription such as OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine and many others. Also included are illegal drugs like heroin.

Opioids are usually safe when you use them as prescribed by your doctor to relieve pain from injuries, surgeries and chronic conditions such as cancer. However, they can be misused and cause addiction.

What is addiction?

Opioid addiction causes you to feel like you can’t live without an opioid. It’s a strong urge or craving to take the drug, even though it’s having negative effects on health and overall life.

If you do not follow your doctor’s instructions, you can also become addicted. Even short term use can lead to addiction and, too often, overdose.

Centers of Excellence (COEs) address opioid addiction

COEs are clinics that provide support and resources for people seeking services and treatment. When you visit a COE, you will receive treatment at no cost to you.

Services include:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Intensive group therapy and education
  • Case management, screenings and assessments

You don’t need to talk to your doctor before visiting a COE, but you are encouraged to do so. Bring your Health Partners Plans ID card. You can make an appointment or walk in and receive the care you need. Before you go to a center, check the hours and days of operation.

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Prescription drug take-back program

If a medication is expired or no longer needed, it’s important to protect the safety of others by disposing of it properly. To get rid of unused prescription drugs safely, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs website. Enter your ZIP code or county to find your local prescription drop-off location.

Resources

We are your partner in good health and your journey to recovery is important to us. You can call us at 1-888-477-9800 for assistance. You can also call the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Hotline at 1-800-662-4357 to speak to a professional or visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Treating Opioid and Heroin Addiction web page for more information.