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The Opioid Epidemic

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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

When our members visit a COE, they should bring their Health Partners Plans ID card. They can schedule an appointment or walk in but are encouraged to check the hours and days of operation before visiting a center. They will receive treatment at no cost to them. The COE will send claims directly to us for payment.

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Note: Although your patient can visit a COE without talking to you, your involvement helps increase the success of his or her recovery from opioid addiction.
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. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs website. Members can enter the ZIP code or county to find a local prescription drop-off location.

Resources

For assistance, members can call us at 1-888-477-9800. They can also call the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Hotline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Treating Opioid and Heroin Addiction web page for more information.

If you have any questions, you can also contact your Network Account Manager (NAM) or the Provider Services Helpline at 1-888-991-9023, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Additional tools and resources like the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) are available to help you manage your patients. Visit the Department of Health web page to learn more.