Postoperative Opioids: A Doorway to Addiction

Despite increased efforts to reduce opioid use for treating postoperative pain, patients continue to receive large amounts of opioids and the results are costly. Complicating matters, today the opioid crisis and COVID-19 pandemic are intersecting with each other and presenting unprecedented challenges for families and communities.1


surgical procedures happen in the United States.2

67 Percent of Patients

filled an opioid prescription between 30 days before through 14 days after surgery.3*

More than 2 Million

Americans may become persistent opioid users annually after surgery.2

From 2020 to 2021, drug overdoses were linked to

More Than 100000 Deaths

the highest number ever recorded in a single year.4

report unused opioid tablets5

of opioid pills remain inside the home in unsecured locations5

of nonmedical users of opioids received them from friends and family6

23.4 Billion Dollars

in annual healthcare costs associated with persistent opioid users can be attributed to postoperative pain management.2,7

Learn more about ZYNRELEF® for the reduction of postoperative pain.

*This was determined using a 20% national sample of Medicare claims among beneficiaries aged 65 and older with Medicare Part D claims who underwent a major or minor surgical procedure between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2015.

View References

  1. Petterson S, et al. Projected Deaths of Despair During the Coronavirus Recession. Well Being Trust. May 8, 2020. WellBeingTrust.org.
  2. Brummett CM, et al. New persistent opioid use after minor and major surgical procedures in US adults. JAMA Surg. 2017;152(6):e170504. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.0504
  3. Santosa KB, Hu HM, Brummett CM, et al. New persistent opioid use among older patients following surgery: A Medicare claims analysis. Surgery. 2020;167(4):732-742. doi:10.1016/j.surg.2019.04.016.
  4. NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Estimates for 2020 are based on provisional data. Estimates for 2015-2019 are based on final data (available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/mortality_public_use_data.htm).
  5. Bicket MC, Long JJ, Pronovost PJ, Alexander GC, Wu CL. Prescription Opioid Analgesics Commonly Unused After Surgery: A Systematic Review. JAMA Surg. 2017;152(11):1066–1071. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.0831.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration . Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Rockville, MD: 2019. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf. Accessed April 19, 2021.
  7. Brummett CM, Evans-Shields J, England C, Kong AM, Lew CR, Henriques C, Zimmerman NM, Sun EC. Increased health care costs associated with new persistent opioid use after major surgery in opioid-naive patients. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2021 Feb 24:1-12. doi: 10.18553/jmcp.2021.20507. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33624534.

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