- $55 billion in health and social costs related to prescription opioid abuse each year
- $20 billion in emergency department and inpatient care for opioid poisonings
- On an average day in the U.S. more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed
- 3,900 people daily initiate nonmedical use of prescription opioids
- 580 people initiate heroin use
- 78 people daily die from an opioid-related overdose
- Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin
- An estimated 23% of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015.
- Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin
- Over 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills
- Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers
- People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use.
- Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative
- The prescribing rates for prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults has nearly doubled
- Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription pain relievers, be given higher doses, and use them for longer time periods than men
- Women may become dependent on prescription pain relievers more quickly than men
- 48,000 women died of prescription pain reliever overdoses between 1999 and 2010.
Opioid Facts by the Numbers