The Opioid Abuse Epidemic
There is not one easy solution to the opioid abuse epidemic. It’s a complex issue that requires stakeholders across government, the healthcare supply chain, public health, prevention and healthcare communities working together to provide patients, families and communities with information and tools to address the crisis.
Overprescribing and Overuse
Opioid prescribing in the U.S. hit its highest point in 2010 with providers writing more than 80 prescriptions per 100 patients.
Since 2010 the number of prescriptions has dropped more than 10 percent.
Recent government data estimate that close to 92 million people (38 percent of the U.S. population) used prescription opioids in 2014–2015.2
A recent study found that more than two-thirds of patients who undergo surgery do not use all of their painkillers, and few safely store or dispose of these medications.3
According to the latest public data, a significant number of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Many individuals who abuse pain medicines obtained the prescription drugs from a friend or family member.
Consider these statistics:
- Approximately 53 percent of those who misused prescription pain relievers in the past year obtained the medicine from a friend or relative.4
- As many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.5
Significant Gap in Education and Awareness
A national poll from Morning Consult, commissioned by Allied Against Opioid Abuse, underscores a significant gap in awareness regarding safe and appropriate use of prescription pain medicines and highlights the urgent need for outreach and education to patients, caregivers and families to mitigate the likelihood of misuse before it occurs. View key highlights from the survey:
ConsumerSurvey Highlights Need for Robust Consumer Education Effort to Address Opioid Abuse Epidemic
ConsumerSurvey Supports Enhanced Communication Around Alternative Pain Treatments, Partial-Fill Prescription Options
By learning the rights, risks and responsibilities of prescription opioid use, you can help mitigate the likelihood of misuse before it occurs.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/prescribing.html
4 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA: www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-annual-national-report
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html
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