The Opioid Epidemic: By the Numbers 1 Updated June 2016. For more information, visit: Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record, and the majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involved an opioid. 1 Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids—including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin—nearly quadrupled, and over 165,000 people have died from prescription opioid overdoses. 2 Prescription pain medication deaths remain far too high, and in 2014, the most recent year on record, there was a sharp increase in heroin-involved deaths and an increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Prevention, treatment, research, and effective responses to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses are critical to fighting the epidemic—a top priority for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In March 2015, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced an initiative targeting three priority areas to tackle the opioid epidemic and help save lives. These include: improving prescribing practices, expanding access to and the use of medication-assisted treatment, and expanding the use of naloxone. Drug overdose death rates, United States, 2014* *Age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 population Source: CDC National Vital Statistics System Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 population 6.3 - 11.7 11.9 - 14.4 15.1 - 18.4 19 - 35.5 Rate of Past Year Opioid Abuse or Dependence* and Rate of Medication-Assisted Treatment Capacity with Methadone or Buprenorphine *Opioid abuse or dependence includes prescription opioids and/or heroin Source: AJPH 2015;105(8):e55-63. Rate of dependence Treatment capacity Rate per 1,000 persons aged 12 years and older 3.4 - 6.4 6.5 - 9.2 9.4 - 10.3 10.8 - 12.9 7.3 - 16.5 4.4 - 7.2 3.2 - 4.3 0.7 - 3.0 On an average day in the U.S.: More than 650,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed 1 3,900 people initiate nonmedical use of prescription opioids 2 580 people initiate heroin use 2 78 people die from an opioid-related overdose* 3 Economic Impact of the Opioid Epidemic: 55 billion in health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse each year 1 20 billion in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings 2 Source: Pain Med. 2011;12(4):657-67. 1 2013;14(10):1534-47. 2 1. CDC, MMWR, 2015; 64;1-5. 2. CDC Vital Signs, 60(43);1487-1492 *Opioid-related overdoses include those involving prescription opioids and illicit opioids such as heroin Source: IMS Health National Prescription Audit 1 / SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2 / CDC National Vital Statistics System 3
2 Progress to Date Next Steps Opioid Prescribing Practices
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