prescriptions

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The average days’ supply of opioids prescribed by doctors in the U.S. increased 33% from 2006 to 2015.

Source: Guy GP Jr., Zhang K, Bohm MK, et al. Vital Signs: Changes in Opioid Prescribing in the United States, 2006–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:697–704. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6626a4
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In 2015, one in three Americans, or 91.8 million Americans, used prescription opioids.

Source: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2017). 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.
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According to the CDC, healthcare providers wrote 259M prescriptions for opioid pain relievers in 2012, which is enough for every adult in America to fill one prescription.

Source: Paulozzi LJ, Mack KA, Hockenberry JM. Vital signs: variation among states in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines—United States, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014;63:563–8.
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In 2010, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult 5 mg of hydrocodone every 4 hours for 1 month.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Popping Pills: A Drug Use Epidemic. https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/poppingpills-nida.pdf. Accessed June 2018.
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Dependence on prescription opioids can happen after just five days.

Source: Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. Characteristics of Initial Prescription Episodes and Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use — United States, 2006–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:265–269. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6610a1
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The prescribing rates for controlled substances among adolescents and young adults nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007.

Source: Fortuna RJ, Robbins BW, Caiola E, Joynt M, Halterman JS. Prescribing of controlled medications to adolescents and young adults in the United States. Pediatrics. 2010;126(6):1108-1116.
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