Opioid Use in the U.S., By the Numbers [Infographic]

Addictions Treatment for Designer Drugs

Opioid misuse and addiction among American adults has grown rapidly in the last several years, whether it’s drugs such as heroin or prescription medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

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Between 1999 and 2010, the number of opioid prescriptions sold in the United States has almost quadrupled, while the number of deaths caused by those opioids has more than quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here’s how widespread the problem has become.


214,881,622: The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in 2016


2,100,000: The estimated number of people misusing prescription opioids in 2016


42,000+: The number of opioid-related deaths in 2016


116: The number of Americans who die of an opioid overdose every day


40%: The percentage of those deaths that involved prescription opioid medication


66%: Of all drug-related overdose deaths in America, the percentage caused by opioids


59.9%: The percentage of people misusing opioid medications who obtained them without a prescription


1,000+: The number of people treated in hospital emergency rooms every day because of opioid-related problems


4 to 6%: The estimated percentage of people who start using heroin after misusing prescription opioids.


$78.5 billion: The annual economic burden to society caused by opioid misuse (such as rising health care costs and lost workplace productivity)


If you or someone you know may be addicted to opioid drugs, seek help today.


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