Documentary explores the causes, effects of nationwide opioid epidemic

By Regence
January 11, 2018

Rarely a day goes by that we don’t hear a new headline about the opioid crisis in the United States.

“Understanding the Opioid Epidemic” is a one-hour documentary premiering Jan. 17 on PBS that provides insight into the causes of the explosive growth in the use of prescription opioids and the effect nationwide.

Funding for this documentary was provided by the BlueCross BlueShield Association and the Brain Research Foundation.

Regence health plans recognize the urgency of the opioid crisis, and we are committed to decreasing opioid abuse while supporting appropriate use for people who can benefit from such treatment.

We have practices in place to reduce opioid abuse and streamline access to medications for overdose and addiction.  Our medication policies align with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including pre-authorization and supply limits for all long-acting opioids.

“Understanding the Opioid Epidemic” provides valuable information about the effect of this crisis on young people, families and communities. Additional resources – including tools for educators, a community engagement toolkit and other materials – can be found on

The documentary will air at the following times Jan. 17 in Regence markets; follow the links to see additional air dates:

Washington: KCTS 10 p.m.

Oregon: OPB 10 p.m.

Utah: KUED 9 p.m.

Idaho: IPT 9 p.m.