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NOTHIN' BUT THE COLD, HARD TRUTH.

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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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.
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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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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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In 2012, every 25 minutes, a baby was born suffering from opioid withdrawal.

Source: Patrick SW, Davis MM, Lehmann CU, Cooper WO. Increasing incidence and geographic distribution of neonatal abstinence syndrome: United States 2009 to 2012 [published correction appears in J Perinatol. 2015 Aug;35(8):667. Lehman, C U [corrected to Lehmann, C U]]. J Perinatol. 2015;35(8):650–655. doi:10.1038/jp.2015.36
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Smokers are more likely to be opioid abusers than non-smokers.

Source: Zale EL, Dorfman ML, Hooten WM, Warner DO, Zvolensky MJ, Ditre JW. Tobacco Smoking, Nicotine Dependence, and Patterns of Prescription Opioid Misuse: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014;17(9):1096-103.
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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 a grim milestone, more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides 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, 10.3 million young adults used a prescription opioid.

Source: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2018). 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.
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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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