Opiate Addiction Statistics

Pain medications in the opiate family and the illegal opiate heroin continue to be at the top of the fastest growing addictions in the US. As with other prescription medications for pain relief, just because a drug is prescribed doesn’t mean it is safe to use.

For opiate based drugs, both prescription pain relievers and heroin, there is a high potential for addiction no matter the drug type. Opiate addiction statistics, depicting a clear picture of the effects of the drug when misused or prescribed, have caught the attention of local governments. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 states have Prescription Drug Programs.

  • Statistics show that about 2.4 million Americans aged 12 years and above used opiates in 2006. Many children begin taking opiates at home, taking pain medication directly from parents. During this survey, about 55.7% of those surveyed were reported to use prescription opiates for a reason or the other.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that about 2 million people in the US alone are addicted to prescription opiates.
  • According to the Rehab International, a resource for getting drug and alcohol treatment, opiate dependency affects approximately 1% of modern day medical practitioners.
  • Prescribed medications account for more overdose incidents brought about by prescriptions of pain medications. Opiate statistics show that as many as 3 out of 4 people abusing drugs obtain them from a friend or a family member.
  • It is estimated that 80% of prescription pain-killers are prescribed by 20% of prescribers. Most scripts come from internal medicine physicians and primary care providers.
  • As of 2010, the addiction of opiates was over 12 million Americans using prescription pain-medications for purposes other than medical without having obtained actual prescription.
  • Opiate addiction statistics show that, while overdose rates vary, the highest overdose fatality incidents were in West Virginia and New Mexico in 2008.
  • A survey by National Institute of Drug Abuse showed that over the past few years, an estimated 16 million people in the US, have once ingested drugs.
  • Statistics show that opiate abuse and addiction costs $484 million every year. This figure includes health care costs and abuses of health care systems, car accidents, lost wages, criminal justice system cost and crime.
  • Opiate use and addiction are associated with 50% of major crimes – at least half of all suspects charged with violence such as homicide and assault, have all been under the influence of opiates.
  • Reports show that about 2/3 people in the opiate abuse treatment have once in their lives, been sexually abused during childhood.
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