A Few Facts to Know About the Opioid Crisis

  1. 630,000 people have died from drug overdoses from 1999 to 2016.
  2. There were 63,600 drug overdose deaths and 66% of those deaths involved opioids.
  3. The number of deaths involving opioids in 2016 is 5 times higher than the number of deaths in 1999.
  4. There has been three waves of popularity for opioids:
    1. 1991-The individuals prescribing the opioids told their patients that there was a low risk in getting addicted to opioids.
    2. 2010-An increase in heroin overdose related deaths rose; Opioids had become harder to obtain as the effort to decrease its use was prevalent, so individuals turned to heroin as a substitute.
    3. 2016-The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now made it difficult to be prescribed any kind of opioid, and prefer non-opioid related treatments. If a doctor were to prescribe opioids, there are guidelines to follow and the patient’s pain would be monitored very consistently. Cancer patients are exempt from these strict guidelines.