Opioid Deaths Sky Rocket

When Jellybeaners appeared in 2017 the overall death toll linked to opioids was 40,000 Americans per year. Now? It’s topping 50,000.

Here are the current statistics about the opioid epidemic from the National Drug Helpline:

OPIOID ABUSE AND ADDICTION STATISTICS

PRESCRIPTION OPIOID STATISTICS

  • In 2017, 1.7 million Americans had substance use disorders with an addiction to prescription opioid pain killers. A little over 650,000 Americans had a heroin addiction (with some overlap between the two).
  • In 2017, approximately 47,000 Americans lost their lives due to opioid overdoses.
  • National opioid prescribing rates started increasing in 2006 and peaked in 2012 at 255 million with a dispensing rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 Americans. In 2019, the dispensing rate had fallen to 46.7 per 100 persons with over 153 million opioid prescriptions dispensed. However, some counties had rates that were 6 times higher than the national average.
  • Opioid overdose deaths increased from around 21,000 in 2010 to nearly 50,000 in 2019.
  • Roughly 21-29% of people given prescriptions for opioid pain relievers misuse the medications. Up to 12% of people who use opioids to treat chronic pain treatment go on to develop opioid use disorder.
  • Around 4-6% of people who misuse prescription opioids later go on to abusing heroin.
  • 8 out of 10 heroin users started out by first using prescription opioid pain pills.

OPIOID ABUSE STATISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES

  • 1.6 million Americans have an opioid use disorder.
  • 10.1 million people report misusing opioids at least once in the past 12 months.
  • Among opioid abusers, 9.7 million people misuse prescription pain pills, 745,000 abuse heroin, and 404,000 abuse both prescription pain pills and heroin.

STATISTICS ON OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS IN THE U.S.

  • Every day, 136 people die from an opioid overdose in the United States, including prescription and illicit opioid drugs.
  • Overdose deaths in the U.S. involving prescription opioids (including methadone and semi-synthetic opioids) numbered around 3,500 in 1999 and increased to over 17,000 in 2017.
  • From 2012 to 2015, there was a 264% increase in deaths related to synthetic opioids.
  • In 2019, more than 71,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Of these, over 70% (roughly 50,000 deaths) were overdoses involving opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
  • From 2018 to 2019, the overall opioid-involved death rate increased by over 6%. While prescription opioid-involved deaths and heroin-involved deaths declined by 6-7%, the synthetic opioid-involved death rate increased by more than 15%.
  • Between 1999 and 2019, nearly 500,000 Americans have died from an overdose involving an opioid drug.

STATISTICS ON COST OF OPIOID ABUSE IN THE U.S.

  • Misuse of prescription opioids alone costs the U.S. more than $78 billion a year, including healthcare costs, lost productivity, criminal justice costs, and addiction treatment.

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