Opioid Statistics

Opioid use, abuse, and addiction in the United States is on the rise. It has been for two decades. The opioid epidemic was declared a public health crisis by President Trump in 2017. The rise in addiction and deaths has caused nationwide concern. In this article you will learn all about opioid statistics that show how harmful these substances truly are.

The White House cited the nearly 64,000 overdose deaths when issuing the emergency. They stated that 42,000 of those deaths in 2016 were due to opioid overdose. That averages out to 115 deaths per day due to opioids in 2016, and that number has risen since then.

These frightening numbers can hopefully pose as a wakeup call for those using opioids like heroin or prescription narcotics. This problem is affecting people nationwide.

Opioids Explained

Opioids are a class of drugs that include any substance that interacts with opioid receptors in the brain. This reaction is what causes opiate pain killing, and euphoric effects.

Some examples of drugs in this class are illegal drugs like heroin, and legal prescription medications like oxycodone and codeine. The term opiates is a subclass of opioids referring to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 

Opioid Statistics

Opioids are the most frequently abused drugs available. This is due to them being medically available through doctors prescribing medications. They are used frequently in hospitals and outpatient settings.

These prescription medications were prescribed at an overwhelming rate in the past decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients in 2017”. This makes misused prescription medications widely available.

This alarmingly high number of available pills in our country leads to abuse and addiction. The CDC also stated that one in four patients receiving prescription opioids struggle with an addiction to them. 

As people take opioids, they build a tolerance and dependence to them. This causes their bodies to need more of the drugs to function properly. When their prescriptions run out, people often turn to illicit drugs like heroin to stave off cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 

Opioid prescribing increases lead to heroin use and opiate abuse. Heroin overdose deaths have increased by nearly 500% from 2010 to 2018. These numbers are expected to be higher in 2019 and 2020 due to the increase in fentanyl being found in heroin. 

Nationwide Use of Opioids

Opioid use is flourishing across our country. Data suggests that opioid use is the highest in more rural states. Many believe that this is due to the limited access to pain treatment therapies more widely available in urban areas.

West Virginia had more than 42 overdoses per 100,000 people. Other states had similarly frightening statistics. These numbers directly correlate to the alarming number of opioid prescriptions in these states.

This data would suggest that less prescriptions of narcotic pain medications would help lower the rate of overdose. 

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Opioid Statistics on Overdose Data

Opioid overdoses are the most common when compared to other drugs. This is due to a number of factors. The wide availability of opioids, combined with their addictive nature is a recipe for addiction and overdose. In 2018, 128 people died per day from an opioid overdose.

Heroin and fentanyl are responsible for more overdose deaths than prescriptions. This can be attributed to the often unknown composition of heroin. Since it is frequently cut with more powerful substances like fentanyl, many overdose deaths involve heroin.

Economic Impacts

The opioid crisis is a growing problem. That problem is also responsible for billions a year in costs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that opioid misuse alone cost the United States more than 78 billion each year. 

Funding has increased, but the problem is still growing. The only proven treatment for opioid addictions are long-term treatment and abstinence. Thankfully, treatment options are becoming more widely available.

opioid statistics: The Public Eye on

Public perception of opioid users has not helped the issue. Most people who misuse opioids are normal people who have fallen into the grips of addiction, a disease.

Unfortunately for those suffering with addiction, addicts are often seen as lazy, dirty, or criminals. This is frequently not the case, but can be depending on the severity of the addiction. 

There is hope despite this. The increased awareness of the issue, coupled with increased government funding has helped to improve public perception of this problem.  With continued awareness and support, our country can continue to fight and eventually overcome this crippling issue.

Treatment for Opioid Abuse

The increase in availability of high quality treatment centers is one good thing that has come from the opioid epidemic. New treatment options and modalities are available to help all kinds of opioid use disorders including opioid addiction. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated that over 21 million people needed treatment for substance abuse in 2015.

We offer a full panel of treatment options to those struggling with opioid addiction and other substances. If you would like to read more about our services, feel free to take a look around. If you or a loved one is in need of guidance on treatment options, give us a call at (800) 817-1247. We are happy to explain treatment options and other information.  

Our compassionate experienced staff are available 24/7 to walk you through this difficult process.