Opioid Addiction Continues To Be A Growing Problem

December 5, 2016

Why do so many people get hooked on opioids? Not all opioid drugs are illicit like heroin. In fact, many people that are addicted to opioids are addicted to commonly prescribed medications used to relieve pain. These medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others. 

The opioid epidemic only continues to grow as prescriptions are easier to attain from doctors. According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine, "of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2014, 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin."

Here are a few more surprising facts about opioid abuse:

-Nearly 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

-Opioids are used to treat pain and many people first use opioids when they are prescribed them by a dentist or oral surgeon, often for removal of molars. Other teens and young adults may get prescriptions for a sports injury.

-The amount of painkillers prescribed in 2010 was enough to medicate every American 24 hours day a day for one month.

How can you do your part and help fight the growing opioid epidemic?

  1. Monitor: Take note of how many pills are in each prescription bottle in your home, especially medications prescribed to your teen. Keep track of refills.
  2. Secure: Take medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, out of the medicine cabinet and secure in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet.
  3. Dispose: Discard expired or unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Participate in a safe drug-disposal program, such as a drug take-back day or a drug mail-back program. (This is a BIG one)

You can read more about the epidemic from the NAB below.

Broadcasters: Taking Action to End the Opioid Epidemic | Brought to You By the National Association of Broadcasters

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across the country. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, with deaths from heroin increasing 248 percent between 2010 and 2015. This trend is driven by the abuse of prescription painkillers.


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