North Carolina and its approach to the opioid crisis are highlighted in a new report by the American Medical Association and Manatt Health

The analysis looks at what's happening in four states – Colorado, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina — specifically identifying effective policies when it comes to combatting the opioid epidemic.

From the findings, the two groups created a national roadmap with six areas of focus including expanding pain management options and improving access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as methadone, for example.

Dr. Susan Kansagara is with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. She says the state is seeing some positive trends, but there's more work to be done.

"Just a few weeks ago we received our preliminary estimates of the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2018, and for the first time in five years we saw a decline of about five percent,” Kansagara says.

North Carolina implemented its own opioid action plan in 2017.

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