Dallas, Texas - American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement about the launch of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative for Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.

“The toll of increasing prescription and illicit opioid abuse, addiction and overdose has devastated communities across the United States and has reached crisis proportions. Every day, an estimated 90 Americans die from an opioid overdose, resulting in more than 300,000 deaths since 2000.

“To improve coordination and accelerate the pace of change, the National Academy of Medicine has partnered with the Aspen Institute and more than 100 other organizations, including the American Heart Association, to form an Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. This one-of-a-kind public-private partnership comprises government, communities, health systems, provider groups, payers, industry, nonprofits, academia and more – all committed to sharing knowledge, aligning ongoing initiatives and advancing collective, multisector solutions. 

“We are proud to join the National Academy of Medicine, the Aspen Institute, and dozens of other public health organizations in the Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. With research showing prolonged opioid use is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes, there is no time to waste. 

“The American Heart Association is uniquely positioned to support the collaborative’s efforts as the leader in community education and resuscitation, training more than 22 million people a year in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. We will be creating two new opioid e-learning courses for health care and laypersons that focus on recognition and treatment of overdoses, and further instruction on opioid treatment, addiction and prevention. We look forward to working with partners to find impactful solutions to help overcome the opioid crisis and improve national outcomes for all involved.”