The prescribing rates for controlled substances among adolescents and young adults nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007.
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.
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.mm6626a4
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.
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.
Dependence on prescription opioids can happen after just five days.
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