Enlisting the Next Generation to Help End the Opioid Crisis with OpiEnd Youth Challenge

Innovations & Initiatives, Transforming Communities, Health & Wellness


A group of smiling elementary students standing with backpacks

The U.S. is at the center of the global opioid crisis, spanning every community where Centene operates health plans. In urban, suburban, and rural areas, the statistics are staggering. Eighty percent of the world's opioids are taken by Americans. Nearly 4 million people use prescription painkillers for non-medical use in an average month. 44% of Americans know someone who is addicted to a prescription pain reliever.

To help combat the impact of opioids on our membership, Centene's clinical leadership team developed the comprehensive OpiEnd™ program. Aligned with our commitment to saving lives and improving health outcomes, OpiEnd helps members with opioid dependency and substance use disorder across the prevention-to-treatment continuum. OpiEnd's approach is multi-faceted, combining data-driven integrated care management and member education, pharmacy policies, provider engagement, and community outreach interventions.

Early intervention substantially reduces the burden of opioid misuse. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 3.6 percent of adolescents ages 12-17 reported misusing opioids over the in 2016. This percentage is twice as high among older adolescents and young adults ages 18-25. With the availability of prescription drugs, it's vital that teens receive up-to-date information on opioid misuse.


OpiEnd Youth Challenge logo

Centene has created OpiEnd Youth Challenge, a targeted curriculum for adolescents to raise awareness about opioid misuse and prevention. As part of the challenge, teachers and students discuss significant attributes of addiction and opioid misuse, and students then show their understanding by developing and submitting posters that depict ways to prevent misuse. The challenge is open now and youth nationwide are encouraged to participate following the links and guidelines below.


OpiEnd Youth Challenge Contest Submissions Open Through Nov. 1, 2019.

Who: 9 to 14-year-old U.S. residents

What: Students create an impactful poster to bring awareness and understanding to their peers.

When: Now through Nov. 1, 2019

How: Students submit their poster online or as a mail-in entry. The Educator Guide and reproducible learning activities introduce them to basic information and facts about opioids and encourage them to use the knowledge they acquire to affect change. Monetary prizes will be granted to first, second and third-place national winners, as well as varying local state prizes. Relatives of Centene Corporation employees are not eligible.

View additional information on Centene's OpiEnd initiative and our commitment to combating the opioid epidemic.