Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

Prescription drug abuse kills dozens of Americans every single day. Opioids are by far the most abused type of prescription drug on the market. The problem has become so serious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared prescription drug abuse to be an American epidemic. Understanding the statistics of prescription drug abuse can illustrate the dangers of addiction and overdose.

If you or someone you love is prescribed an opioid medication, it's best to be aware of the risks. For people already struggling with addiction, the statistics on prescription drug abuse will unfortunately demonstrate that you are far from alone.

The most commonly abused opioid medications are methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Opioids are similar in composition to heroin and are a gateway drug for many users. Opioid prescription drug statistics include key facts that demonstrate how this problem became an epidemic.

  • In 2014, more than 18,000 people died as a result of an opioid overdose.
  • In 2012, more than 259 million opioid prescriptions were written.
  • Four out of five heroin users abused opioid medications first.
  • There are around 1.9 million Americans with an opioid painkiller addiction.
  • Seventy percent of people obtain opioids from people they know.
  • Four percent of people who misuse opioids will transition to heroin.

Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous opioids to abuse. It is much more potent than both morphine and heroin and can be lethal when taken in combination with heroin. In fact, in October 2015, 74 people in Chicago died after using fentanyl-laced heroin within a 72-hour period. Statistics on prescription drug abuse show that the number of fentanyl overdose deaths doubled in the U.S. from 2013 to 2014 and has continued to rise, indicating that the supply has been increasing.

According to CDC prescription drug abuse statistics, every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in an emergency room for abusing opioid medications. The statistics of prescription drug abuse are a stark image of the magnitude and consequences of this issue.

If you are struggling with prescription drug abuse, you may not know who to turn to for help. Contact Better Addiction for assistance with locating cost-effective addiction counseling at a rehab facility near you. Our addiction treatment specialists will work with you to create a customized plan for recovery. We understand that the most successful treatments are personal ones, and we are here to help answer any questions you have about entering rehab. Call today or fill out our contact form to start healing.

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