Statistics on the Opioid Crisis

Opioid addiction is a serious epidemic that is plaguing the United States, and many other countries around the world.
In recent years, opioid abuse has grown to become a significant issue that affects all types of people, regardless of their gender, age group, income level, or education.

According to the CDC, roughly 70% of the 67,367 overdose-related deaths in 2018 involved an opioid. Every day, an average of 128 people die from an opioid overdose in the United States. Opioid abuse can be incredibly deadly, and opioid addiction requires professional treatment.

What is an Opioid?

An opioid is a type of drug that is often prescribed to people who are dealing with chronic pain, or people who have recently had a major surgery. The broader category of opioids includes a number of prescription and illegal drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, heroin, codeine, and others.

Illegal street drugs, like heroin and fentanyl, are commonly abused opioids. However, there is also a high rate of opioid misuse in people who have a legitimate prescription. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that between 21-29% of patients who are prescribed an opioid for pain management misuse the drug.

Opioids work by blocking pain receptors in the brain, which reduces physical pain. When opioids are used correctly, they can be extremely effective. But when someone takes a high dose of opioids, it leads to a euphoric high that causes people to become heavily addicted.

How Many People Suffer from Opioid Addiction?

Opioids are one of the most commonly abused drugs because they are widely available on the street, and at one point, were very easy to get from a doctor. Once someone starts abusing opioids, it doesn’t take long before they develop a dependence.
It’s estimated that between 8-12% of people who have a prescription for opioids eventually develop an opioid use disorder. Even more alarming is that 4-6% of people who misuse prescription opioids eventually transition to heroin. Roughly 80% of people who use heroin started out by abusing prescription opioids.

statistics on the opioid crisis

Not only does opioid abuse affect individuals and families, but it also has a tremendous impact on the economy. The CDC estimates that the total economic cost of prescription opioid abuse in the United States is around $78.5 billion per year, which accounts for the costs of healthcare, lost productivity at work, addiction treatment programs, and criminal justice intervention.

On a brighter note, recent data does show that the opioid epidemic may be improving. Between 2017-2018, 17 out of 38 states saw a decline in prescription opioid deaths, and none recorded a significant increase. However, the daily death rate of opioid misuse is alarming, and it points to a serious public health threat in the United States.

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

The Debate Around Opioid Prescriptions

Drugs are important for pain management, especially those who suffer from chronic pain. When a patient is in pain following a surgery, prescription opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet can help them recover more effectively.

But today, doctors are faced with two questions. One question is how they can stop people from continuing to take opioids after they’ve healed and are no longer in pain. The other question is whether or not doctors really need to prescribe opioids for pain in the first place.

Anyone who has ever dealt with chronic pain knows just how debilitating it can be. Patients with chronic pain often struggle to maintain a social life, form relationships, hold a job, run errands, play with their children, and care for others. Not only does it affect people physically, but it also takes a serious toll on their mental health.

In fact, people who are prescribed opioids to improve their quality of life end up doing the opposite if and when they start to misuse them. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to stop once it becomes a habit.

Over the last several years, federally-backed health organizations have been working to reverse the course of the opioid crisis in the United States. Some of the things they’re working on include:

  • Expanding access to treatment and recovery services
  • Promoting the use of overdose-reversing drugs
  • Improving our understanding of the epidemic through public health surveillance
  • Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction
  • Advancing better practices for pain management

The opioid crisis won’t end overnight, but public health experts are finding ways to reduce the rate of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. In the meantime, treatment centers like Nexus Recovery are encouraging opioid addicts to seek professional treatment, and enroll in a program that can help them get sober.

meditation for depression and anxiety

Getting Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is a treatable disorder. But because it’s so difficult to recover from opioid addiction, the treatment protocol tends to be very involved. People who suffer from severe opioid addiction will likely benefit from starting treatment in a medical detox setting.

Nexus provides outpatient services, so you should go to a medical detox facility first if need be. In a medical detox, a medical professional oversees the withdrawal process and makes sure it’s done safely. Some addicts are given small doses of an opioid during treatment to help their body withdraw without the intense side effects.

After detox, the next step of treatment is a Partial Hospitalization Program, where the client will receive treatment most days of the week at a treatment facility. At Nexus Recovery, our PHP program includes one-on-one therapy, group therapy, goal setting, financial planning, resume building, group outings, and more.

Clients who complete a PHP will transition into an outpatient program, which includes in-clinic programming several days per week, with a focus on maintaining sobriety and building life skills in the process. Clients in Nexus Recovery’s outpatient program participate in relapse prevention, experiential group therapies, nutrition in recovery, mindfulness, spiritual counseling, and other sessions.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, help is available in your community. Nexus Recovery specializes in addiction treatment and focuses on therapy for the mind, body, and soul. Our mission is to provide clients with the tools and support they need to seamlessly transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety.

Contact us to schedule a free confidential consultation at (888) 855-6877.

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

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