The OPEN Mission
The effects of chronic opioid use have touched millions of lives in countless communities. We launched the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (OPEN) in 2016 to change the trajectory of the opioid epidemic by developing new approaches to an exceedingly complex problem.
We began with the understanding that effectively addressing opioid addiction requires intensive collaboration with the many stakeholders in this crisis. We work to find evidence-based solutions by bringing together the best minds and deeply engaging with the medical establishment, community workers, patients, and the greater public.
Disrupting the cycle of dependency where it begins — most commonly with a prescription to manage acute pain after surgery — has been our focus. Since we established our Opioid Prescribing Recommendations, which tailor prescriptions to meet the needs of specific procedures, opioid prescribing after surgery has declined by 76% in Michigan. Removing unused medication from homes is also part of the puzzle, so we partner with communities to host take-back events, where opioids can be safely disposed of to keep them out of circulation and help reduce misuse.
We continue to build on these successes through research, engagement, and evidenced-based actions. As we move forward, we strive to increase our understanding of the challenges of the opioid crisis and dramatically expand our reach, providing effective resources to those on the frontlines and transformative solutions that make a positive difference.
OPEN works with support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Value Partnerships, and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) at the University of Michigan.