The Opioid Epidemic in North Carolina

We're Leading the Way to Find Solutions

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Call 1-800-662-4357

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline

Blue Cross NC members, call the Mental Health number on the back of your ID card.

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You probably know someone or have heard about someone who has struggled with opioid addiction.

What had been talked about privately before is now a public health epidemic in North Carolina and across the United States.

How did we get here? What can we all do to help?

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to help – from funding for treatment and research partners, to working with members, providers and policy makers.

New for Community Partners: Apply for Funding

Learn how to apply for grants from Blue Cross NC to help battle the epidemic.

Download RFP (pdf)

Understanding Opioids

Dr. Anuradha Rao-Patel is a medical director at Blue Cross NC who specialized in pain management. She is one of the state's leaders in finding solutions to the opioid epidemic. 

Consider the Impact in North Carolina, and Nationwide


Within 2 years (2014–2016), opioid addiction rose 55% in North Carolina according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2010 to 2016, opioid use disorder diagnosis increased 493% in the U.S. In 2015, North Carolina had 1,567 overdose-related deaths. 23.3% of Blue Cross NC members filled at least one opioid prescription in 2016. Currently it is estimated that 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to opioids.


Unintentional Opioid-related Overdose Rates Per 100,000 Persons (2010–2016)

Opioid Impact Map for NC

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

Percent of Members Who Filled at Least One Opioid Prescription in 2015

Opioid Impact Map for US

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

"Can't You Just Do it For Me? Just Quit, Dad!"

Aolani Donegan, a social media communications specialist at Blue Cross NC, shares the story of her father, who lost his battle with opioid addiction.

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