Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use disorder is a medical condition not a moral failing.

Addiction is a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by a person pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Braeburn OUD Graphic With Refs 2 Column 8.29.19


Opioids are a class of drugs that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain. Opioids include heroin as well as the prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others. Prescription pain relievers are often necessary for treatment of acute and chronic pain, but with continued use the body can potentially build physical dependence and tolerance.


Opioid use disorder is a significant public health crisis in America today.1

Opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.2

Each day in the US, 130 people die from opioid-related causes.3

More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, most involving a prescription painkiller or an illicit opioid like heroin.3

The true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars, according to the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers.4

In 2015, there were 690,000 OUD ICU admissions with an average cost of $92,400 per patient, totaling an average cost to payers of $63.8B.5

Buprenorphine for Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT)

Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved medication that can help treat opioid use disorder. It binds to opioid receptors and effectively blocks the signals from other opioids. Currently, oral buprenorphine is the most commonly used form of buprenorphine-based medication therapy for the treatment of OUD. Patients receiving oral buprenorphine typically receive daily oral buprenorphine or buprenorphine/naloxone combination products (either tablets or sublingual film). These formulations are self-administered. Braeburn is developing a long-acting formulation of buprenorphine to treat OUD.


1 Katz, J. (2017, June 05). Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever. Retrieved December 17, 2018. from: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/05/upshot/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html 

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Wonder. Accessed on February 19, 2018. https://wonder.cdc.gov/controller/datarequest/D76

3 NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality. Accessed on December 17, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db329_tables-508.pdf#page=4

4 The Council of Economic Advisors, November 2017. The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis. Accessed on January 18, 2018, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/The%20Underestimated%20Cost%20of%20the%20Opioid%20Crisis.pdf

5 Stevens et al, 2017, Annals of the American Thoracic Society

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