Over the past two decades, the opioid epidemic has had devastating impacts on the United States. With the recent emergence of COVID-19, the nation is experiencing an unprecedented convergence of epidemics, and there is great concern that the opioid crisis, and the broader mental health and addiction crisis, may only worsen in the absence of a concerted response. It is in the interest of the nation that swift action and investment be made to prevent an exacerbation of the addiction crisis and related health inequities, and to build a sustainable system for the future. The Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic is poised to lead this charge and to continue advancing the unified systems approach that is needed for progress.  

To demonstrate and track the Action Collaborative’s impact, we are mapping how the Action Collaborative is driving systems change, contributing to the field, and making a difference. The two maps presented below illustrate the direct impacts we are having through our work products and activities, as well as the critical role the Action Collaborative plays in fostering a coordinated and cohesive systems response to the opioid epidemic.

Systems Map

The systems map depicts the stakeholder groups that are brought together by the Action Collaborative and is used to prioritize high-leverage opportunities for collective action. This map illustrates the necessity of the systems approach to combatting the opioid crisis and the contributions of various stakeholders, but also shows the need for enhanced coordination and alignment, which underscores the important role the Action Collaborative plays in this broader ecosystem, primarily through its convening power and function.

Click on the systems map to enlarge the image.

Impact Map

The impact map illustrates how the stakeholder groups convened by the Action Collaborative are collectively addressing four high-priority elements of the nation’s response to the opioid crisis: health professional education; pain management guidelines; prevention, treatment, and recovery services; and research, data, and metrics needs. Within each of these areas, the Action Collaborative’s specific work deliverables and impact areas are also shown.

Click on the systems map to enlarge the image.

Learn more about the working groups that make up the Action Collaborative>>

Questions? Email OpioidCollaborative@nas.edu to learn more. 

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