Opioid Education 

  • Opioids are a class of drugs including prescription painkillers and heroin
  • Oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, hydromorphone are all examples of opioid painkillers
  • OxyContin, Percocet, Dilaudid, Vicodin and Tylenol 3 (with Codeine) are other names that some of these painkillers are known by
  • Here is a larger list of prescription opioids: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/narcotic-pain-medications#1
  • 91 deaths per day in the US are caused by opioids
  • Deaths from prescription opioids have more than quadrupled since 1999, according to the CDC
  • 80% of new heroin users get their start on prescription painkillers
  • In many cases, users become addicted to painkillers and then transition to heroin as it is cheaper, more potent, and often times easier to find
  • In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which was more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills
  • On an average day in 2016, more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed, which adds up to 237 million for the year and is actually a small step in the right direction
  • In 12 states, the number of prescriptions written in a year exceeds the number of people living in the state
  • Many heroin users overdose on heroin laced with fentanyl, as the two drugs can look identical, but fentanyl is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin
  • Baltimore has an estimated 21,000 heroin addicts, which is over 3% of the city’s population
  • Some rural areas are worse off than the worst urban areas regarding opioid addiction
  • In 2016 alone, 2.3 million Ohio patients — roughly 20 percent of the state’s population — were prescribed an opioid
  • 70 percent of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system are children of parents with opioid addictions
  • 4,149 people died from overdoses last year in Ohio, a 36 percent increase from 2015 when the state led the nation in fatal overdoses
  • From 2010 through 2013, female heroin overdoses increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000. Tripled in 3 years
  • Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men. Women may become dependent on prescription pain relievers more quickly than men
  • 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015
  • 94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain”
  • People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use. Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative
  • The prescribing rates for prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007
  • Americans consume up to 80% of the world’s prescription opioids
  • Mexican heroin production increased from 8 metric tons to 50 metric tons from 2005 to 2009
Further Reading About the Opioid Crisis

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