Opioids have been abused for a long period of time. Opiate usage intensified in the early 1980s, when Big Pharma pushed for the treatment of discomfort without recognizing their abuse capacity. At that time, health companies and medical facilities promoted pain control by distributing sketches of facial grimaces illustrating pain scales to treat discomfort appropriately.
The end result was more composed prescriptions. That caused the current opioid epidemic; according to the Center For Disease Control, healthcare facilities in the United States see an average of 1,000 patients a day for abuse of prescription opiates (such as methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone).
Just how much has the death rate increased? Given that 1990, more than 200,000 deaths have been attributed to an overdoses from prescription opioids-- at a rate of nearly 50 deaths daily.
Lately, awareness by doctors of the existing opioid epidemic crisis has actually shifted the pendulum to the other side, resulting in less prescriptions written for pain relievers. This has actually led the client to look for street heroin. Heroin usage has actually increased with altering of the structure of a few of the prescription painkillers. Also, the use of heroin has increased with the rising cost of hard-to-get prescription painkillers. With intravenous heroin use, the rate of overdose death increased. In the last few years overdose death from heroin has jumped since of lacing heroin with fentanyl-- a surgical anesthetic opiate which is 50 times more potent than heroin.
There are about 180 deaths daily from opioid overdose in the USA, exceeding all other causes of mortality. This number is expected to rise even higher.
Here are some statistics of the opioid crisis:
Overdose is the leading cause of unintentional death in USA.
In 2015: There were 52,000 lethal cases-- including 20,000 due to prescription pain reliever overdose deaths and 13,000 deadly heroin overdoses.
In 2015: There were 21 million substance use disorder cases. 2 million cases my response related to prescription drugs and 600,000 related to heroin.
From 1999-2008: The increase in deaths from prescription pain relievers and sales of such tablets quadrupled. Admissions to healthcare facilities due to overdose increased sixfold.
In 2012: There were 259 million prescriptions composed for painkiller medications, which would cover one prescription for each American adult.
In 2014: 94% of users chose heroin over prescription medications because tablets were more pricey and more difficult to get.
Among heroin users, 23% develop opioid addiction.
These realities and stats are worrisome because of the increasing deaths impacting a lot of families. It should be an obligation and top concern for health care professionals (specifically addiction experts) to help deal with these dependent patients to avoid additional overdoses and deaths.