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Substance use disorders occur when the habitual use of alcohol, drugs, or both causes health problems and/or reduces a person’s ability to live their daily life as they otherwise would. Approximately 20 million adults have a substance use disorder. Substance use often co-occurs with mental illness—close to half of adults with a substance use disorder also experience a mental illness at the same time. Opioid addiction is rampant, and more than 130 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids.

Opportunities for innovation we will pursue include novel strategies to help reduce the stigma around opioid addiction, models to reduce unjustified variation in prescribing patterns, and approaches to improve the efficacy of treatment for opioid-use disorder.

Featured Initiative

Combatting Stigma Related to Opioids

We are supporting Shatterproof, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families, in their development and execution of a national strategy to help reduce the stigma around opioid addiction. This work builds on the research conducted by our Opioids Insights group over the last several years. View the video of key findings on the Shatterproof site.

Featured Capability

McKinsey’s Opioids Insights

Providing insights, expertise, analytics, and technology to help our clients and society combat the opioid crisis.

Featured insights


Returning to resilience: The impact of COVID-19 on mental health and substance use

– As governments race to contain COVID-19, it is important to know the actions society can take to mitigate the behavioral health... impact of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Why we need bolder action to combat the opioid epidemic

– Although the opioid crisis in the US is gaining increased attention, the steps taken to date to combat it are insufficient. Our... research suggests that much broader—and bolder—action is required.

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