Taking Action to Prevent Opioid Abuse and Misuse

Taking Action to Prevent Opioid Abuse and Misuse

take action against misuse and abuse

  • America has a drug problem that is touching the lives of all of its citizens.
  • Opioids – prescription and illicit – are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 42,249 deaths in 2016, and opioid overdose deaths were five times higher in 2016 than 1999. (ref: CDC)
  • In 2016, more than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids. (Ref: AAOA)
  • Approximately 40 percent of people who misused opioids obtained them from a friend or relative for free. (Ref: AAOA, Ibid)
  • Each day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for not using opioid prescriptions as directed.(Ref: AAOA, Ibid)
  • An average of one hundred fifteen Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. (Ref: AAOA, Ibid)
  • Opioid prescribing in the U.S. hit its highest point in 2010 with providers writing more than 80 prescriptions per 100 patients. (Ref: AAOA)
  • Since 2010 the number of prescriptions has dropped more than 10%. (Ref: Ibid)
  • Recent government data estimate that close to 92 million people (38 percent of the U.S. population) used prescription opioids in 2014–2015. (Ref: Ibid)
  • 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. (Ref: Ibid).
  • The following drugs should also never be combined with opioids:
    – Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax® and Valium®)
    – Muscle relaxants (such as Soma® or Flexeril®)
    – Hypnotics (such as Ambien® or Lunesta®)
    – Other prescription opioids

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