Magellan Health marked October as Substance Abuse Prevention Month, with its chief medical officer, Dr. Karen Amstutz, releasing the following statement:

“Substance abuse does not discriminate. It pays no mind to gender, race, age or income level. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs costs the United States more than $700 billion annually related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare. Substance abuse, and in particular, our nation’s opioid epidemic, is gripping families and communities all across the country. Chances are, you know someone who is coping with substance abuse, though they might be doing so in silence.

“Magellan Health has worked in the field of behavioral health management for over 40 years, and we believe strongly that the treatment of substance abuse, including opioid misuse and addiction, is possible. Magellan Health advocates for medication assisted treatment (MAT), a well-researched and highly effective approach combining medication to treat the physical effects of opiate dependence, with counseling and recovery support services. Magellan Health is poised to support treatment professionals, legislators, third-party payers and patient advocates in the implementation of prevention efforts, best clinical practices, and elimination of potential barriers to treatment and recovery. Working together, it is important to shine a light on this dark epidemic and provide hope to people seeking to live a healthier, more vibrant life.

“If you or someone you know is dealing with substance, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Help Line at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). For Magellan’s resources related to substance abuse, please visit