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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.
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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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Heroin-related overdose deaths increased 5x from 2010 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.
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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.
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Opioids can cause constipation.

Source: Lee, A.A. & Hasler, W.L. Curr Treat Options Gastro (2016) 14: 478.
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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
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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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80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller.

Source: Jones CM. Heroin use and heroin use risk behaviors among nonmedical users of prescription opioid pain relievers – United States, 2002-2004 and 2008-2010. Drug Alcohol Depend (2013) 132:95–100
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Taking opioids after wisdom teeth removal increases the odds of long term use.

Source: Harbaugh CM, Nalliah RP, Hu HM, Englesbe MJ, Waljee JF, Brummett CM. Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Tooth Extraction. JAMA. 2018;320(5):504–506. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9023
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In 2013, the United States, which continued to be the principal consumer country of oxycodone, accounted for 78 percent of the world total.

Source: United Nations: International Narcotics Control Board. Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2014. Accessed June 2018.
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In 2017, 47,600 people died of opioid overdoses in America.

Source: Hedegaard H, Miniño AM, Warner M. Drug overdose deaths in the United States, 1999–2017. NCHS Data Brief, no 329. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.
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More than two-thirds of people admitted into substance abuse treatment programs first used a non-heroin opioid by age 25.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2003-2013. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015.
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