According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is experiencing an increased epidemic of drug and opioid overdose deaths. Since 2000, this number has a 200% increase in deaths involving opioids. More commonly known as painkillers. Opioids caused more deaths in 2014 than car accidents (61%). In his 2016 State of the Union address, President Obama stated that “more Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do from motor vehicle crashes … The majority of those overdoses involve legal prescription drugs.
Opioid Overdose Deaths
CDC presents statistics
Here are some eye opening facts when it comes to opioids:
- In 2012, there were 259 million prescriptions provided by health care adm A number large enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.
- Almost two million Americans at least 12 years of age abused or became dependent on painkillers in 2013.
- Even though prescription painkiller sales increased since 1999, there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain Americans reports.
- In 2013, the United States saw 16,000 deaths from opioid painkiller overdoses, four times what it was in 199.
According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans. And which comes out to onethird of the U.S. population. Of this number, 25 million people experience pain. Moderate to severe chronic pain with significant painrelated activity limitations and diminished quality of life. Pain is the primary reason Americans are on disability.
Changes to be made
The CDC is publishing new guidelines for the prescription of opioid painkillers like Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. The guidelines are just that advisory to doctors and not at all mandatory. Currently, primary care providers say they receive insufficient training in prescribing pain relievers. And the CDC wants to make sure that all patients receive appropriate treatment, while understanding the benefits and risks. By improving the way painkillers are prescribed, the CDC hopes patients’ pain management treatment will decrease misuse, abuse, or overdose
While these changes have brought about debate through mainstream media. And with both health care officials and consumers weighing in, the hope is to prevent the development of addiction and overdose.
In conclusion, prevent an opioid overdose by getting help. If you or someone you know has an addiction to opioids, call The Watershed today. We are here 24/7.