Voices for Non-Opioid Choices: Preventing addiction and saving lives

According to the CDC, in the year ending in May 2021, over 100,000 Americans died from a drug-relate overdose. Of these, 2,902 were Michiganders.

Integrated through all the Jamie Daniels Foundation’s work is our mission to save lives. That’s why we so highly regard substance use prevention – and the reason we recently partnered with Voices for Non-Opioid Choices.

Voices for Non-Opioid Choices is a bipartisan coalition dedicated to increasing access to non-opioid approaches to manage acute pain. In effect, this will prevent millions of Americans from becoming long-term opioid users. It is comprised of more than 50 leading provider, patient, recovery, and prevention organizations working together for one important cause.

The goal of the coalition is to provide necessary policy changes to grow patient and provider access to managing acute pain, without prescribing opioids. When doctors have more options to pain management, it helps address the distribution and diversion of opioids.

A few facts to consider:

  • 3.75 million (9.2%) of patients escalate to long-term opioid use after a low-risk surgery (e.g. inguinal hernia repair, knee arthroscopy)
  • On average, patients receive 80 opioid pills each to manage their pain, regardless of need
  • Of the 9.7 million people who misused pain relievers in 2019, 37.5% received the pills from a health care provider, and 50% obtained them from a friend
  • 50% of 12th graders have experimented with drugs – 60% of those admit to accessing drugs from their parent’s medicine cabinet

 This objective will be furthered with the support of the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act (“NOPAIN Act”) which was introduced to Senate in 2021. As part of our partnership, Executive Director, Chris Perry, will regularly meet with Senator Stabenow’s office to discuss sponsorship of the NOPAIN Act. 

The policy changes would increase patient and provider access to non-addictive alternatives and as a result, greatly lessen the need for prescribing opioids after surgeries. Additionally, it would change a federal reimbursement policy that incentivizes the use of opioids in hospital settings after a surgery, helping to close this surgical gateway and preventing possible addiction.

At the Jamie Daniels Foundation, we believe substance use prevention is key. We are proud to participate in this effort to increase availability and utilization of non-opioid approaches to pain management, reducing the number of opioid prescriptions. Together, we can work toward a healthier, safer future by developing accessible FDA-approved, safe, effective, and non-addictive approaches for patients and providers.

Interested in joining this effort? Here is how you can get involved:

Activity Updates:

March 31, 2022 –

The Jamie Daniels Foundation co-signed a letter with more than 50 other concerned organization from across the U.S. to the United States Senate Finance Committee encouraging  its members to include the NOPAIN Act in the mental health legislative package currently under development.  

To date, Congressional efforts to combat the opioid crisis have provided resources to communities, first responders, and patients dealing with an opioid use disorder – efforts the Jamie Daniels Foundation strongly endorses. However, relatively little focus has centered on opportunities to prevent opioid addiction. One way to prevent opioid addiction is to minimize exposure to narcotics by making available other, non-opioid based pain management approaches. Doing so can prevent opioid misuse in the nearly 4 million Americans who initiate long-term opioid use every year after a routine surgical procedure. Inclusion and passage of the NOPAIN Act would do just that.