The Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Use Disorder

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others.

Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.

Addiction is a primary, chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2014, 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.

It is estimated that 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction. National Opioid Overdose Epidemic.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

From 1999 to 2008, overdose death rates, sales and substance use disorder treatment admissions related to prescription pain relievers increased in parallel. The overdose death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the 1999 rate; sales of prescription pain relievers in 2010 were four times those in 1999; and the substance use disorder treatment admission rate in 2009 was six times the 1999 rate.

In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.

Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.

94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain.”

From: www.niaaa.hih.gov

Heroin and opiate addiction is a dangerous, costly problem in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports the following statistics regarding opiate abuse in the United States:

Statistics show that Opiate abuse and Opiate addiction cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This amount includes healthcare costs and abuses of the healthcare system, lost wages, car accidents, crime, and criminal justice system costs.[1]
Opiate use and addiction is linked to at least 50 percent of the major crimes in the United States; at least half of all suspects arrested for violent crimes (homicide, assault, etc.) were under the influence of opiates when arrested.[2]
Reports indicate that nearly two-thirds of people in Opiate abuse treatment report were physically or sexually abused as children. [3]
The 2002 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that in 2002, heroin-related hospital Emergency Department episodes numbered 93,519.[4]
According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 3.7 million people had used heroin at some time in their lives, and over 119,000 of them reported using it within the month preceding the survey. An estimated 314,000 Americans used heroin in the past year. The group that represented the highest number of those users was 26 or older. Additionally, 57.4 percent of past year heroin users were classified with dependence on or abuse of heroin; an estimated 281,000 persons received treatment for heroin abuse.[5]
In 2006, approximately 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit Opiate users. [6]
According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Web Site), 605,000 Americans age 12 and older had abused heroin at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
According to the Monitoring the Future survey, NIDA’s nationwide annual survey of drug use among the Nation’s 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders, heroin use remained stable from 2003 to 2004. Lifetime heroin use measured 1.6 percent among 8th-graders and 1.5 percent among 10th- and 12th-graders.[7]

[1] http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/Opiate-Addiction-Facts.html

[2] http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/Opiate-Addiction-Facts.html

[3] http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/Opiate-Addiction-Facts.html

[4] http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Heroin/heroin2.html#scope

[5] http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Heroin/heroin2.html#scope

[6] http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/heroin.html

[7] http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Heroin/heroin2.html#scope

Alcohol Facts and Statistics

Alcohol Use in the United States:

Prevalence of Drinking: In 2014, 87.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 71.0 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.9 percent reported that they drank in the past month.

Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking: In 2014, 24.7 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.7 percent reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States:

Adults (ages 18+): 16.3 million adults ages 18 and older3 (6.8 percent of this age group4) had an AUD in 2014. This includes 10.6 million men3 (9.2 percent of men in this age group4) and 5.7 million women3 (4.6 percent of women in this age group).

About 1.5 million adults received treatment for an AUD at a specialized facility in 2014 (8.9 percent of adults who needed treatment)5. This included 1.1 million men (9.8 percent of men in need) and 431,000 women (7.4 percent of women who needed treatment)

Youth (ages 12–17): In 2014, an estimated 679,000 adolescents ages 12–176 (2.7 percent of this age group7) had an AUD. This number includes 367,000 females6 (3.0 percent of females in this age group7) and 311,000 males6 (2.5 percent of males in this age group).

An estimated 55,000 adolescents (18,000 males and 37,000 females) received treatment for an alcohol problem in a specialized facility in 2014.

Alcohol-Related Deaths:

Nearly 88,0009 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women9) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths (31 percent of overall driving fatalities).

Economic Burden:

In 2010, alcohol misuse problems cost the United States $249.0 billion.12

Three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol misuse is related to binge drinking.

Global Burden:

In 2012, 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9 percent of all global deaths (7.6 percent for men and 4.0 percent for women), were attributable to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and injury-related health conditions, most notably alcohol dependence, liver cirrhosis, cancers, and injuries.14 In 2012, 5.1 percent of the burden of disease and injury worldwide (139 million disability-adjusted life-years) was attributable to alcohol consumption.

Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability; among people between the ages of 15 and 49, it is the first.15 In the age group 20–39 years, approximately 25 percent of the total deaths are alcohol attributable.

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February 2018
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