The Opioid Epidemic

Real People, Real Progress

Healthcare/Workforce Development

Technology has become increasingly important to the efficiency of medical practices. The landscape is becoming more patient-centered, featuring a range of technologies capable of remotely monitoring patients’ physical and emotional states.

Read more about healthcare/workforce development.


Life in many rural communities has been transformed from the images of rustic landscapes, porch swings, and county fairs to the loss of economic opportunities and community supports. In many rural areas, these changes have contributed to the complexities of opioid misuse and addiction and associated health challenges. Jobs like manufacturing, farming, and mining tend to have high injury/reinjury rates that can lead to pain and, possibly, to the use of more painkillers. 

Read more about needs of rural communities.

Download Our OPIOID brochure

JBS Works With States To Improve Population Health Outcomes thumbnailWhat makes JBS staff different when it comes to dealing with the complexities of the opioid epidemic? We have a comprehensive in-house knowledge base among dozens of subject matter experts and innovative, cross-systems solutions that make a difference. Download our brochure and learn more about our project work.

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Experience with Vulnerable Populations

Our substance abuse work — particularly in opioids — cuts across many vulnerable populations including pregnant, postpartum and parenting women, people involved with the criminal justice system, adolescents, patients with comorbidities such as mental health issues, and communities with limited access to care.

Read more about experience with vulnerable populations.

CME Trainings for Health Providers

JBS has created curricula for a range of specialized audiences, from first responders to pharmacists to family members to prisoner re-entry programs. We designed a continuing medical education (CME) program completed by more than  27,300 clinicians to date through a technical assistance project.

Read more about CME training.

Understanding of Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder

Treating opioid use disorder (OUD) with medications and behavioral health support offers opioid-dependent patients a path toward recovery. While medications do not cure addiction, they lessen the cravings and withdrawal symptoms and therefore provide the opportunity for individuals to get back on track and maintain their recovery over time.

Read more about MAT.

Integration of Primary Care & Behavioral Health

JBS has had a unique role in facilitating the integration of primary care and behavioral health. The opioid epidemic presented an opportunity for the two fields to collaborate and improve the quality of treatment.

Read more about the integration of primary care and behavioral health.

Subject Matter Experts

Since our beginning, JBS has worked on the frontlines of every major drug epidemic that has plagued the U.S., including crack cocaine, club drugs, inhalants, steroids, and crystal meth — and most recently, the skyrocketing misuse of prescription opioids and heroin.

Read more about JBS’s experts.

The Living Room Immersive Experience

Social service administrators can use this 360-degree technology-driven training prototype JBS developed to educate field staff on identifying key indicators of potential prescription misuse. The navigation is prompted by audio, so the sound must be enabled during the use of this tool.

This 3-8 minute training requires a computer with a mouse (or touch screen) and audio speakers (headphones are preferred). To begin, click the image and then click the play button in the center of the screen. If you have questions about this tool, contact

The Living Room Start Page.

Breastfeeding with Opioid Use Disorder

A woman breastfeeding an infant.

Breastfeeding is recommended for women with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are being treated with methadone or buprenorphine. Download our infographic to learn more.

Hear What Our Experts Have To Say

Hear what some of our substance abuse experts have to say about their efforts to help solve the opioid crisis. These videos were developed between 2017 and the present and may describe certain projects that have since ended.

  • Carlos Alcaraz: The Secondary Victims of the Opioid Crisis
    Carlos Alcaraz: The Secondary Victims of the Opioid Crisis
  • Pam Baston: The Human Side
    Pam Baston: The Human Side
  • Susan Hayashi: Continuing Medical Education for Providers
    Susan Hayashi: Continuing Medical Education for Providers
  • Joe Hyde: Supporting Effective Chronic Pain Management
    Joe Hyde: Supporting Effective Chronic Pain Management
  • Jennifer Kasten: Integrating Behavioral Health & Primary Care
    Jennifer Kasten: Integrating Behavioral Health & Primary Care
  • Kathleen Meyers: Addiction Epidemic
    Kathleen Meyers: Addiction Epidemic
  • Joseph Perpich: Expanding Treatment
    Joseph Perpich: Expanding Treatment
  • John Roberts: Medication-Assisted Treatment
    John Roberts: Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Larry Robertson: States’ Roles in Recovery
    Larry Robertson: States’ Roles in Recovery
  • David Wanser: New Health Technologies
    David Wanser: New Health Technologies
  • Aldrenna Williams: Treatment in Courts & Communities
    Aldrenna Williams: Treatment in Courts & Communities

The Opioid Epidemic Ravaging America

Download the infographic to learn about the many ways U.S. communities are impacted by or involved in the opioid epidemic.

About Our Work

Take A Deeper Look at What Sets Us Apart

Below is a sampling of JBS’s opioids-related projects:

CME/CE Training for Healthcare Providers

  • Prescription medication misuse, abuse, overdose, safe prescribing, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – trained more than 104,000 medical professionals
  • Clinical Challenges in Opioid Prescribing: Balancing Safety and Efficacy – 7 publications
  • NIDA Adolescent Substance Use and Rx Medication Misuse CME/CE – trained 14,000 healthcare workers and issued 5,000 CMEs/CEs
  • TA to support Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000-waivered physician trainings – 11 onsite TA events
  • Naloxone Overdose Prevention and Education Program
  • MAT Regional Training: Drug Court and MAT Successes – trained 18 clinicians

Healthcare Workforce Development

  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • "Opioid Use Disorders (OUD): What Pediatricians Should Know" publication
  • Small, regional trainings with medical professionals to provide training to fight the opioid epidemic and opioid use disorder
  • State TA prescriber guidelines (PA)
  • Support OTP accreditation/certification and conduct medical education training in eight states per year

Improved Access to Care

  • Online course: Overcoming Barriers to Prescribing Buprenorphine
  • Sustainability planning for State of Hawaii
  • TA to expand MAT through mobile services (in CO, DC, NV, OK, and PR)
  • Multi-state meetings on Expanding Access and Opioid-Related Overdose Policies and Practices

Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health

  • SAMHSA Buprenorphine Summit, MAT and Benzodiazepine Meeting, and a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tele-Substance Use Treatment Working Group resulting in Guide for Policy Change
  • Outreach and Education to Healthcare Providers on Substance Use – 12 Curriculum Resources

Outreach to Vulnerable Populations

  • Development and implementation of face-to- face and virtual training modules for use with child welfare professionals and family court judicial staff including opioid-specific toolkits, child welfare motivational interviewing scripts, child welfare supervision learning activities, and a judicial bench guide
  • Journal of Addiction Medicine publication (2017): "Treating women who are pregnant and postpartum for opioid use disorders and the concurrent care of their infants and children: Literature review to support national guidance"
  • Webinar: MAT in Correctional Settings

Training and Technical Assistance for Treating OUD with Medications and Recovery Support

  • Social marketing campaigns to overcome resistance to MAT (in GA, KY, NY, OK, and VT)
  • TA to strengthen clinical and management systems of 28 state grantees that include 95 individual MAT providers

Program Evaluation

  • Treatment Programs and Services for Pregnant and Postpartum Women: A Program Evaluation demonstrating lack of coordinated MAT services for PPW residents
  • State TA on data collection for prevention of non-medical use of prescription opioids (in NM)
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