Opioid abuse statistics highlight the severity of the opioid crisis in the US.
Opioids, also referred to as narcotics, include powerful prescription medications, such as tramadol, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, as well as illicit drugs like heroin. A few of the long-term risks of opioid drug abuse include addiction, overdose, physical and psychological health complications.
Opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose are major public health concerns in the United States. The statistics provided below highlight the severity of the opioid epidemic in the US.
The number of opioid overdoses has risen dramatically over the last two decades. This is due to the growing usage of opioids in chronic pain management (the origin of the opioid crisis in the US) and the expanded use of highly potent opioids on the illicit drug market.
The increase in overdose rates has resulted in a rise in opioid overdose fatalities over the last ten years. In recent years, the increase of opioid-related overdose deaths is attributed to synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl and illicit analogs. According to Our World in Data, between 1999 and 2017, 426,218 Americans lost their lives to opioids.
According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 450,000 people died from an opioid overdose, including prescription and illicit opioids, between 1999 to 2018.
Significant patterns and changes have been recorded in opioid abuse treatment admissions and recovery rates. Owing to the advancements made in addiction treatment over the past decade, the use of medications, such as buprenorphine, methadone, and extended-release naltrexone, have significantly increased the rate of recovery from opioid use disorder.
According to the SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) 2005-2015:
The economic cost of opioid abuse is calculated through healthcare spending, criminal justice costs, lost productivity due to addiction and incarceration, and fatality. This cost has significantly increased since 1999 due to the rise in opioid abuse.
According to the study conducted by the Society of Actuaries, the economic Impact of non-medical opioid use in the United States are:
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