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Jan 8, 2020 2:05:07 PM

Highmark announced that its employer-based members have access to new virtual education and advocacy tools that combat stigma associated with opioid use disorder (OUD) and promote recovery in the workplace. These new resources, which are a value-added service for Highmark group customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, are offered in collaboration with Shatterproof. Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the U.S.

'Across the communities that we serve, we found that stigma associated with opioid use disorder is widespread,' says Highmark president Deb Rice-Johnson. 'And yet, despite that stigma, we found that people want to help someone who is struggling with opioid dependence. Our collaboration with Shatterproof will help fight stigma so that opioid use disorder is viewed as a chronic disease, rather than a moral failing. It will also equip workplaces and our members with the knowledge and resources to start a conversation about opioids and help those in need.'

Through Shatterproof, Highmark’s employer-based members can engage in brief, interactive education modules that explore the science of opioid use disorder; environmental and genetic risk factors; the dangers of opioids; signs, symptoms and evidence-based treatment options; ways to help individuals and families challenged by OUD; and success stories of individuals who are in recovery.

These modules, which take around five minutes each to complete, also provide supplemental videos, fact sheets and other evidence-based resources for those who want a deeper dive on each subject.

'As the opioid crisis has evolved, so has our response,' says Dr. Caesar DeLeo, vice president and executive medical director of strategic initiatives for Highmark. 'We remain committed to helping the members and communities that we serve at all stages—from fighting stigma, to preventing dependence, to accessing treatment, to promoting long-term recovery that allows individuals to return to their family lives and the workforce.'

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