Posted on January 26, 2018 by Laura Fuller
The United States only makes up 4.3% of the global population but 25% of the estimated number of drug-related deaths worldwide, including overdose deaths, happen in the United States. Sadly, these numbers continue to rise.
More than 63,600 lives were lost to drug overdose in the United States in 2016, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioids, a family of painkillers including illicit heroin and fentanyl as well as legally prescribed medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, contributed to 66% of the total drug fatalities.
The amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, but there has not been a change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.
Since 2013 the number of deaths attributed to overdose has more than doubled. The rise in illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl and tramadol, drove most of the increase. Since 2014, the rate of heroin overdose deaths has jumped an average of 19% each year.
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Center for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db294.pdf
American Society of Addiction Medicine https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf