5 Facts About the Opioid Epidemic

Written by Chloe Nicosia

5 Things You Should Know About the Opioid Epidemic

Over 100 people living in the United States die each die to the opioid epidemic, according to CDC reports. Opioid crisis statistics such as these reveal the true problem that the country faces. Prescription pain relievers, heroin and fentanyl are being abused by people of all ages and genders. Discrediting misinformation and helping people to understand more about the epidemic is one of the ways that the country will beat the problem. To that end, this article will look at five facts about the opioid crisis in the US.

1. Record-Setting Deaths

The opioid crisis statistics reveal that this drug epidemic has claimed more lives than any other drug-related emergency. In 2016, a little over 64,000 had opioid-related overdoses that caused their death. The previous highest recorded overdose deaths were from the previous year, with opioid abuse being the leading cause.

During the 2007 to 2014 period, states reported a decline in overdose deaths in teens but has since spiked again as the opioid epidemic intensifies.

2. A Public Health Emergency

Late 2017, the opioid epidemic was officially declared a public health emergency – not to be mistaken with a national emergency. In a national emergency, which is usually reserved for foreign threats and the like, funding is immediately cleared to deal with the problem. However, as a public emergency, the opioid epidemic cannot claim the use of emergency funds. What it does mean is that the government is able to bypass many of the Mediciad and privacy laws that are in place to be able to address the epidemic more effectively. This is the first public health emergency of its kind since the H1N1 flu virus in 2009.

3. Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers are the Problem

Since 1999 to 2015, the use of prescription opioids has tripled. With studies surfacing showing that as many as 30 percent of adolescents believe that taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s permission is okay to do.

The rise in heroin abuse can be explained by the opioid crisis. As it becomes difficult to find perception opioids, users who have become dependent are turning to heroin for their fix.

4. The Fight is Joined by the Pharmacies and Medical Schools

It has become more important than ever to ensure that doctors are not overprescribing opioids. So far, the blame has fallen on doctors for overprescribing and big pharma. As such, medical schools have begun to train new doctors to be aware the methods of treating pain without opioids as well as addiction education.

Pharmacies are the ones selling the opioids and have started to find ways to help the deal with the crisis. Pharmacies are putting into place limits that would prevent the abuse of opioids. This would counteract any situations where a doctor is overprescribing, hoping to prevent such situations.

5. Millennials Using Less Opioids

In the opioid crisis in the US, millennials have been found to be using less opioid pain relievers to manage pain. Instead of reaching for a pill, they are opting to change their habits in response to pain management requirements. Baby boomers, born 1948-1964, are twice as likely as millennials to make use of prescription opioids to manage pain over alternatives.

Nearly everyone is either being affected by the crises personally, or knows someone who is being affected. Better Addiction Care can help you find a rehab near you to stop the abuse of opioids today. Call them at 1.800.429.7690.