"Many Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and their families have experienced opioid use disorder, commonly referred to as addiction. Given the growing body of evidence on the risks of misuse, highlighted by the recently published guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Administration's commitment to combatting the opioid epidemic, CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] is outlining our agency's strategy and the array of actions underway to address the national opioid misuse epidemic. Strategies outlined in this paper do not include CMS's vision for the treatment of cancer and hospice patients. Treatment of patients in these situations requires careful medical supervision based on therapeutic goals, ethical considerations, and the balance of risks and benefits of opioid therapy. Opioid drugs can treat both acute and chronic pain. While these types of drugs, including fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone, can have benefits for many patients with serious pain-related conditions, these drugs cause serious and substantial harm when used improperly. Even when used as directed, they contribute to overdose or lead to development of substance use disorder in some individuals. The high potential for misuse of opioids have led to alarming trends across the United States, including record numbers of people developing opioid use disorders, overdosing on opioids, and dying from overdoses. Opioid misuse places Americans at an elevated risk for heroin use, overdose, and death. Use by injection places them at risk for exposure to blood borne diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis C."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.cms.gov/