April 13, 2017
The following statistics are from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (http://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf).
- Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 and older who had a substance use disorder, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers, and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses.
- Opioid addiction is driving the epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin.
- 276,000 adolescents (ages 12 to 17) were current nonmedical users of pain relievers, with 122,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.
- In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult his or her own bottle of pills.
- The number of past-year heroin users in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2005 and 2012, from 380,000 to 670,000.
- 94 percent 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.”
- 48,000 women died of prescription pain reliever overdoses between 1999 and 2010.
- Prescription pain reliever overdose deaths among women increased more than 400 percent from 1999 to 2010, compared to 237 percent among men.
On an average day in the U.S.
- More than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed.
- 3,900 people start nonmedical use of prescription opioids.
- 580 people start heroin use.
- 78 people die from an opioid-related overdose.
- $55 billion in health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse.
- $20 billion in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings.