Shocking US Opioid Epidemic Statistics

The fact that opioid overdoses and addiction are at the highest recorded levels may not come as a surprise, but did you know the opioid epidemic is the worst epidemic in American history? Opioids are the leading cause of death in Americans under 50, and unfortunately, the epidemic shows little sign of slowing down. From doctors who keep opioid addiction going strong by overprescribing pain meds to the many forms of opioids that are sold illegally, there are many causes of the opioid epidemic, and many outlets for addicts to get their fix. Learn more about this drug crisis, which kills over 64,000 Americans each year, and the factors that make it so lethal.

The Disturbing Cause of the Opioid Crisis

Unlike many other common addictions such as alcohol and methamphetamine, the opioid epidemic has a cause that hits shockingly close to home: our own doctors. While not every doctor is liberal with prescriptions to addictive pain meds, many of them are, and there’s no doubt that they played a major role in fueling this crisis.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the opioid epidemic is that prescriptions to powerful pain medications have led to life-threatening addictions in otherwise normal people. With no way to get more pain pills to fulfill their craving, addicts are eventually left with little choice but to buy illegal opioids such as heroine just to feel normal again.

Alarming Statistics About the Opioid Epidemic

The following statistics demonstrate how severe the opioid crisis has become in recent years, highlighting how deadly it actually is.

Cause and Trends of the Opioid Epidemic

  • About 80% of heroin users first abused prescription opioids.
  • An estimated 21-29% of patients who are prescribed opioids misuse them.
  • 80% of opioid prescriptions come from 20% of the prescribers

Deadliness of the Opioid Crisis

  • Over 700,000 people have died from opioid abuse from 1999-2017.
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30% in 45 states from 2016-2017.
  • In that same timeframe, the Midwestern US saw a 70% increase in opioid overdoses.
  • 68% of all drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid.
  • About 130 people die each day from opioid overdose.

Ramifications of the Opioid Crisis

  • Massachusetts was the first state to declare the opioid epidemic an emergency in 2014.
  • 2017 saw a 26% increase in opioid deaths over the previous year.
  • In total, the opioid crisis cost Americans $504 billion in 2015.

Seek Help With Your Addiction

Of the many addictions we help people recover from at Myrtle Beach Recovery, opioids are arguably the most prevalent and deadliest of all. If you’ve pursued help for your addiction and are looking for a safe and peaceful place to work through your 12 Step Program, feel free to schedule a tour of our facility. Contact us today to see how we can help you.