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The opioid crisis in the US

August 6, 2019

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The National Institute of Drug Abuse provided an update this year on the growing opioid epidemic in the US. Here’s what the NIH knows:

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.6
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.6
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.79
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.7
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.10
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.10
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.10

The statistics prove that opioid misuse has risen to a national health crisis. HHS and the NIH have outlined what both agencies are doing to combat the opioid crisis. To learn more, click here.

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