In 2016, enough painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult 30 mg of hydrocodone every day for almost a month.
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.mm6626a4https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6626a4.htm
Every day in 2017, an estimated 1,300 young adults misused an opioid prescription for the first time.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 18-5068, NSDUH Series H-53). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Non-addictive painkillers, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be just as effective as prescription opioids at reducing certain types of pain.
Source: Chang AK, Bijur PE, Esses D, Barnaby DP, Baer J. Effect of a Single Dose of Oral Opioid and Nonopioid Analgesics on Acute Extremity Pain in the Emergency DepartmentA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA.2017;318(17):1661–1667. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.16190
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
In 2015 , the opioid epidemic cost the US more than 500 billion dollars.
Source: The Council of Economic Advisers. The Underestimated Cost of the Opioid Crisis. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President; 2017.
More than 17,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2017.
Source: Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;67:1419–1427. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1
In 2010, every 3 minutes, a woman went to the ER for prescription painkiller misuse.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers and Other Drugs Among Women — United States, 1999–2010. MMWR 2013;62:537-542.
Opioid painkillers like Vicodin® and OxyContin® are chemically similar to heroin.
Source: NIDA. Opioids. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids. . Accessed May 11, 2018.
Opioid overdose deaths increased almost 6x from 1999 to 2017.
Source: Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;67:1419–1427. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1.
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.
Individuals who are prescribed opioids prior to graduating high school are 33% more likely to misuse prescription opioids after graduating.
Source: Prescription Opioids in Adolescence and Future Opioid Misuse Richard Miech, Lloyd Johnston, Patrick M. O’Malley, Katherine M. Keyes, Kennon Heard Pediatrics Nov 2015, 136 (5) e1169-e1177; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-1364
Adolescent athletes in some high-injury sports are at a 50% higher risk of misusing prescription painkillers than their peers who don't participate in these sports.
Source: Veliz PT, Boyd C, McCabe SE. Playing through pain: sports participation and nonmedical use of opioid medications among adolescents. Am J Public Health. 2013;103(5):e28–e30. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301242
In 2011, more than 420,000 emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of narcotic pain relievers.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2013.