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Opioid painkillers like Vicodin® and OxyContin® are chemically similar to heroin.
Source: NIDA. Opioids. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids. . Accessed May 11, 2018.
In 2011, more than 420,000 emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of narcotic pain relievers.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2013.
Every day in 2017, an estimated 1,300 young adults misused an opioid prescription for the first time.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 18-5068, NSDUH Series H-53). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
More than 17,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2017.
Source: Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;67:1419–1427. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm675152e1
Dependence on prescription opioids can happen after just five days.
Source: Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. Characteristics of Initial Prescription Episodes and Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use — United States, 2006–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:265–269. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6610a1
The prescribing rates for controlled substances among adolescents and young adults nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007.
Source: Fortuna RJ, Robbins BW, Caiola E, Joynt M, Halterman JS. Prescribing of controlled medications to adolescents and young adults in the United States. Pediatrics. 2010;126(6):1108-1116.
80% of heroin users started with a prescription painkiller.
Source: Jones CM. Heroin use and heroin use risk behaviors among nonmedical users of prescription opioid pain relievers – United States, 2002-2004 and 2008-2010. Drug Alcohol Depend (2013) 132:95–100
Over half of young adults who misused prescription opioids got them from a friend or family member.
Source: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2017). 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.
According to the CDC, healthcare providers wrote 259M prescriptions for opioid pain relievers in 2012, which is enough for every adult in America to fill one prescription.
Source: Paulozzi LJ, Mack KA, Hockenberry JM. Vital signs: variation among states in prescribing of opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines—United States, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014;63:563–8.
In 2013, the United States, which continued to be the principal consumer country of oxycodone, accounted for 78 percent of the world total.
Source: United Nations: International Narcotics Control Board. Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2014. Accessed June 2018.