COMMITMENT TO ACTION
Combating Opioid Addiction in Puerto Rico
Commitment by Direct Relief
In 2019, Direct Relief committed to address the growing opioid crisis in Puerto Rico by building the capacity of local organizations to treat opioid addiction and prevent fatal overdoses on the island. Recent reports have noted an alarming increase in opioid overdoses in Puerto Rico in recent years that has only worsened since Hurricane Maria. With partners including the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Puerto Rico Hospital Association, the Primary Care Association of Puerto Rico, Intercambios Puerto Rico, Hogar del Buen Pastor, Pfizer, and BD, Direct Relief will take a multi-pronged approach to address this issue by: funding research to fill data gaps on the prevalence of opioid addiction on the island; providing healthcare providers with doses of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses; and building the capacity and scale of existing substance misuse programs, such as needle exchange programs.