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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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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
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In 2017, two out of three drug overdose deaths involved some type of opioid.

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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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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In 2016, enough painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult 30 mg of hydrocodone every day for almost a month.

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 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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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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As the death rate of major killers like cancer and heart disease decline, opioid death rates continue to rise.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2014: With Special Feature on Adults Aged 55-64. Hyattsville, MD. 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf. Accessed June 2018.
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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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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.
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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.
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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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