According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 90 people die from an opioid overdose each day. In addition, nearly two million people abuse opioids annually. Opioid epidemic statistics make up a significant percentage of overall drug and alcohol abuse in the United States.
Opioids make up a combination of illicit drugs and prescription medication that includes codeine, Fentanyl, Heroin, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and morphine. Opioids, drugs derived from the poppy plant, come in two primary forms: natural and synthetic. Overdose or addiction to opioids can lead to a wide range of side effects that include terminal health problems and fatality. Without the help of an opioid addiction treatment program in Houston, TX, many people struggle with addiction that swallows their whole life.
Key Opioid Epidemic Statistics
Many people who take opioids either do not realize they are addicted or deny their addiction. One of the reasons for this is because many of the products on the market are prescription medications. Even when a user increases their dosage, they may not realize how hooked they are to the drugs.
Opioid epidemic statistics are a wakeup call to just how bad the problem is. Consider these statistics that affect millions of people:
- From 1999 to 2017, 399,230 Americans lost their lives to opioids
- 47,600 fatal overdoses that involved at least one opioid occurred in the U.S. in 2017
- In 2017, doctors issued 191,218,272 opioid prescriptions
- Since 1999, painkiller sales have risen by 300%
- 30% of people who take prescription opioids abuse them
- 2 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2017
One of the main reasons why users abuse prescription opioids is that they are unaware of their addictive properties. Furthermore, there is a lack of education and awareness provided by the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community regarding opioid epidemic statistics.
Why Are Opioids So Addictive?
Once opioids enter the central nervous system, they immediately bind to receptors in the brain. While they produce different reactions, the common thread is that the brain responds to the reaction in a way that produces pleasure. In most cases, the pleasure comes in the form of euphoria, relaxation, or pain reduction. This action rewires the brain’s reward system. At a treatment center, evidence-based addiction therapies help each individual understand why they reach for these drugs. Then, they can learn the coping skills they need for long-term recovery.
One of the opioid epidemic statistics that many people are unaware of is that addiction to opioids can begin in as little as three days. However, addiction doesn’t occur overnight. It slowly progresses over a period of several weeks, months, or years. Eventually, a user forms a dependency on the drug. They get to a point where they feel as though they cannot live without the substance. This is especially the case when users have to increase the dosage to continue feeling the effects.
What You Can Do About Opioid Addiction
Regardless of the opioid epidemic statistics, help is available for opioid addiction. Right Step Houston offers comprehensive Houston, TX substance abuse treatment programs for all types of addictions. We provide detox, rehab, and aftercare to ensure a successful recovery. To find out more about your treatment options, call us at 1.844.768.0169. We are here to help you get on the road to recovery.