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Opioid Statistics

2018 data shows 128 people overdosed every day in the United States from opioids. The opioid epidemic that has plagued the U.S., and even the world, has become a crisis. Data shows some staggering numbers that should make anyone concerned. Continue to read about the most current opioid statistics in today’s blog.  

How Opioids Became an Epidemic

Starting in the late 90s, the medical community began prescribing opioid painkillers. This was due to the pharmaceutical companies reassuring them that addiction wouldn’t be a problem. Because of this, doctors began prescribing these medications at greater rates. But, by then, addiction had already taken hold as it was proven that people were overdosing on opioids at high rates.    According to drugabuse.gov, in 2018, 46,802 Americans died from an opioid overdose, which included prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid. In the same year, approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioids. 526,000 people also suffered from a heroin use disorder.  

Opioid Statistics

Some other statistics for opioid abuse or addiction include:
  • Approximately 80 percent of people who started using heroin started first with prescription opioids.
  • Around 21 to 29 percent of patients that were prescribed opioids misuse them for chronic pain.
  •  Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin
  As of the most recent data, among the 38 states with prescription opioid overdose death data, in 2017-2018, 17 states saw a decline; none experienced a significant increase.   Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome has also risen due to opioid use and misuse during pregnancy. Furthermore, increases in injection drug use also contribute to the spread of infectious diseases that include HIV and hepatitis C.    

Overdose Death Maps

The Centers for Disease Control states that there was a 13.5 percent decrease in prescription opioid-involved death rates from 2017-2018. This was out of 32 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in 2018. There is some good news, though. Current statistics include:  
  • Opioid deaths have decreased in both males and females aged 15-64 from across all urbanization levels, including Non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives.
  • In the midwest, south, and the west, opioid deaths deceased, and in the northeast, they remained stable.
  • No states experienced major increases in prescription opioid-involved death rates, and 17 states experienced declines.
  • The largest relative decrease happened in Ohio with 40 percent, while the largest absolute decrease occurred in West Virginia (4.1 per 100,000), the highest rate in 2018. (13.1 per 100,000)

Prescription Opioid Overdose Deaths

The CDC analyzes the following for overdose deaths from prescription opioids:  
  • Natural opioids: Morphine and codeine pain medications
  • Semi-synthetic opioids: Pain medications like Oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone
  • Methadone: A synthetic opioid that not only treats pain but can also be provided through opioid treatment programs to treat opioid use disorders

Overcome Opioid Addiction 

Overcoming opioid abuse or addiction is possible, so if you or a loved one is suffering and wants to get help, contact Ardu Recovery Center. We employ a holistic approach to treating addiction that includes mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and more. Get your life back from the throes of addiction; call us today.