Opioid Addiction Statistics – America’s Opioid Dependence Problem

opiate addiction causes

 

“15.9 percent of the U.S. population ages 12 and older – 40.3 million people are addicted to alcohol or other drugs!”

Opioid Addiction Statistics in America:

The problems worse now than ever before and is only going to get bigger. Almost everyone knows someone who’s struggled with addiction or dependence to narcotics, prescription painkillers (like oxycontin, percocet, vicodin, opana) or other opioids.cold-turkey-opiates

I’ll let these opioid dependence statistics in America below paint you a clear picture of this giant problem:

  • Over 7 million people are addicted or physically dependent to some form of opiate or prescription pain killer in the United States.
  • As estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non medically for the first time within the past year, this averages to approximately 6,600 new initiates each day!
  • Approximately 1 million ER visits in 2009 could be attributed to prescription drug abuse. Roughly 343,000 involved prescription opioid pain relievers, a rate more than double that of 5 years prior.
  • 116 million in this country suffer from chronic pain. Estimates of addiction among chronic pain patients vary widely—from about 3 percent to 40 percent.
  • In 2007, the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids outnumbered deaths from heroin and cocaine combined!
  • An estimated 52 million people (20 percent of those aged 12 and older) have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetimes!
  • About 1 in 12 high school seniors reported past-year nonmedical use of the prescription pain reliever Vicodin in 2010, and 1 in 20 reported abusing OxyContin—making these medications among the most commonly abused drugs by adolescents. From the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey.
  • In 2009, 16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever killer (opioid), tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed making opioid dependence very possible. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  • In the U.S., prescriptions have increased over the past decade to 3.4 billion annually, a 61 percent increase.
  • Retail sales of prescription drugs jumped 250 percent from $72 billion to $250 billion, while the average price of prescriptions has more than doubled from $30 to $68. Remember, the money’s in the treatment not the cure.
  • The average opiate user goes through withdrawals 10 – 25x!
  • Only about 1 in 10 people with addiction involving alcohol or drugs get help.
  • Pharmacies have dispensed almost 80 million more opiate prescriptions that 10 years ago!

So why have the US’s opioid dependence statistics risen so much so fast?

That’s because the sad truth is that there’s WAY more money in legal drugs than illegal drugs. People using prescription medicine must take them every single day, 365 days a year.

Do you see how lucrative this is? Do you see the huge lifetime earning potential from selling prescription medications? Multi-multi billions in profits. Doctors, pharmacies and drug companies all profit hugely from selling drugs. And the more they sell, the better they do.

As the consumer, you must be wary when dealing with the 1000 pound gorilla – aka the medical establishment.

When you seek help for your ailments, be educated in all your choices. You should always be aware of, and seek out, alternative therapies and second opinions if you can. It’s very easy to get addicted to prescription opioids.

And be aware – western medicine is NOT the only medicine that works. Now, more than ever, people are choosing from a wide range of alternative health therapies as opposed to harsh medical treatments and surgeries. Please do not blindly listen to doctors and assume they are God and can do no wrong – NOTHING could be further from the truth. Question and research what they say before accepting it as fact.

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Reilly Johnson
Reilly Johnson
President and Founder of the Opiate Freedom Center. Creator of OFC Supplements and committed to providing straightforward insight and actionable steps to help you recovery. Email me anytime at [email protected], Follow on Twitter or Like us on Facebook!
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