Statistics on the Opioid Crisis

As the months go by, statistics for the previous and current year pertaining to the opioid crisis become available.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports: Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.

Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states. The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017. Opioid overdoses in large cities increased by 54 percent in 16 states.

While statistics are discouraging in terms of combatting the crisis, actions are being taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The National Institutes of Health (NIH) to combat the terrible toll on individuals and families across the country.

The major areas where an action is being taken are: improving access to treatment and recovery services, promoting the use of overdose-reversing drugs, strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance, providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction and advancing better practices for pain management.

In May 2017 in an NIH article titled All Scientific Hands on Deck to End the Opioid Crisis, Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA) and Francis Collins (Director, NIH), wrote; simply reducing medical use (and thus supply) of addictive prescription opioids, as the CDC and other authorities have recently advised, does not address the very real problem of untreated pain in this country, and we cannot solve the opioid addiction and overdose crisis without better addressing pain at the same time. They indicated there have been promising scientific developments to address this area of concern.

statistics on the opioid crisis

Drugs are important for pain management, especially those who suffer from chronic pain. However, the question remains as to how to effectively stop people from taking drugs after they have healed, and or never taking them in the first place. What measures in society must change for people to find happiness from within, rather than through artificial means?

“We need to help people understand that taking pain medicine to maximize one’s ability to be productive and to sustain enriching relationships is very different than the disease of addiction, which limits one’s ability to contribute to society and maintain healthy habits.”― Dianne Bourque

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, get help now. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment and encompasses holistic therapy for the mind, body, and soul with a focus on staying active and connected to nature. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation.

If you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, call us today.

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