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What Are Opioids?

Opioids are psychoactive substances (narcotics) primarily used for pain relief by producing morphine-like effects. Although regularly prescribed by physicians, opioids are highly addictive. Examples include, but are not limited to morphine, codeine, and oxycodone.

addiction

Opioids block feelings of pain and trigger a release of dopamine. Dependence occurs with repeated use, as the parts of the brain naturally responsible for releasing dopamine rely on the drug for proper function. When avoided, patients quickly experience severe withdrawal symptoms similar to the flu.

In the US, millions are prescribed opioids for pain relief. Every day, more than 115 people die from overdose. The highest among them, people aged 25 to 54 years.

signs of overdose

  • pinpoint pupils
  • unconsciousness
  • respiratory depression

214MM

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION WERE PRESCRIBED IN 2016 ALONE.

15%+

OF HEROIN OVERDOSE DEATHS OF YOUNG PEOPLE UNDER 30 CAN BE TRACED BACK TO A HOSPITAL STAY.

1/2

OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO INJECT STREET DRUGS LIKE HEROIN DO SO AFTER ABUSING PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS.

The Truth About Treatment

WITH ADDICTION TREATMENT COSTS NEAR $78.5 BILLION AND RISING, LESS THAN 10% OF PEOPLE IN NEED ARE RECEIVING IT.

21-29%

OF PATIENTS PRESCRIBED OPIOIDS FOR CHRONIC PAIN MISUSE THEM

8-12%

DEVELOP AN OPIOID USE DISORDER

30%

INCREASE IN OPIOID OVERDOSES FROM JULY 2016 THROUGH SEPT. 2017 IN 52 AREAS IN 45 STATES

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