Opioid Statistics: A Rising Epidemic

The current opioid crisis has had some pretty severe consequences. However, some people might not really understand the effects of this crisis. In those cases, it helps to go over some opioid statistics. Seeing these statistics can help show who tends to be at the most risk…

Opioid Statistics: Who Is At Risk

Those with chronic pain

A large part of opioid statistics relate to the people that doctors give these pills in the first place. Many times, opioids will be prescribed for chronic pain treatment. However, what this leads to is a high number of those with chronic pain misusing their prescription.

Around 21 to 29 percent of those who take prescribed opioids for their chronic pain will end up abusing them. From that number, 8 to 12 percent will develop some kind of opioid use disorder. While this may seem like a small percentage at first, keep in mind that in 2017 alone, doctors gave out over 191 million opioid prescriptions in total!

Opioids as a gateway

Another area of opioid statistics to look at are how they serve as a gateway to stronger, illicit choices. The most common, and perhaps one of the most dangerous choices, tends to be heroin. In fact, an estimated 4 to 6 percent of those who misuse prescription pills will transition into using heroin.

However, over 80 percent of those who do abuse heroin stated that they first had misused prescription pills. The main reason for this is how powerful and similar heroin is to opioids. Once someone finds themselves unable to get more pills, or not getting the same effect anymore, they may switch to heroin to try and get a similar feeling.

Cities and the Midwest

Opioid statistics also offer up some insight as to where these pills are being misused. Now, this crisis is definitely something which impacts practically all parts of the country. However, some areas see a higher amount of people who end up misusing these pills than others.

The main areas in specific tend to be in cities, and across the Midwest. From July 2016 to September 2017, opioid overdose rates in major cities across 16 states rose by 54 percent. During that same time span, in the Midwest, overdoses increased by a whopping 70 percent!