Pain & Opioids

The ACT Center has partnered with care teams and leaders within Kaiser Permanente and across Washington state to tackle the complex and urgent problem of persistent pain and opioid over-prescription.

Pain & Opioids

Why focus on persistent pain and opioid prescribing?

In recent decades, opioid overprescribing has put millions of Americans at risk of medication harms, including dependence, addiction, overdose, and death. Public health and medical leaders nationwide have struggled to re-align prescribing practices with the evidence and promote safer and more effective treatments. Although scientific evidence makes clear the dangers of opioid overuse, many patients with persistent pain find it difficult to imagine coping with their symptoms without these medications.

Developing a whole-person approach to pain that combats stigma

The ACT Center has partnered with care teams and leaders both within Kaiser Permanente and across Washington state to tackle this complex and urgent problem. Our team’s approach is both evidence-based and patient-centered. We believe that the way to achieve safer opioid prescribing at population scale requires both:

  • Evidence-based guidelines, tools and workflows to support safe prescribing, and metrics to help care teams improve and hold themselves accountable; and
  • A whole-person approach to persistent pain, including empathic, non-stigmatizing communication, robust self-management support, and access to affordable non-pharmacologic therapies.

Featured work in persistent pain & opioids

Featured publications

Stefanik-Guizlo K, Allen C, Brush S, Mogk J, Canada S, Peck M, Ramos K, Volpe K, Lozano P. Sustaining connections: feasibility and impact of long-term virtual patient engagement. Res Involv Engagem. 10, 28 (Feb 2024). Full text


Featured resource

Available in English and Spanish, this toolkit was created by and for people who live with persistent pain.