• People addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin
• Sales of prescription opioids as well as opiod-related deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999
• Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids
• In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills
• As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long-term for noncancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction
• Opiods are largely ineffective for lower back pain
• Using opiods for more than 30 consecutive days may increase risk for depression
1. Natural opioid analgesics (including morphine and codeine) and semi-synthetic opioid analgesics (including drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone)
2. Synthetic opiods (such as methadone)
3. Synthetic opioid analgesics (including drugs such as tramadol and fentanyl)
4. Heroin, an illicit (illegally-made) opioid synthesized from morphine that can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance.
This is enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.
At least half of these deaths involved a prescribed opiod.
The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.
People with chronic low back pain may get short-term relief from opiods, but evidence does not support long-term effective treatment.
Heroin-related overdose deaths have more than tripled since 2010.