Opioids: By the Numbers

Bottom Line:

The opioid epidemic is one of the deadliest drug crises in our recent history. Look at the United States. It’s estimated that over 2 million people have a problem with opioid abuse and nearly 50,000 people die each year due as a result. So, how did we get here? Well, in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began aggressively marketing these drugs to healthcare professionals, and in America’s case, to the public. Combine that lobbying with the strong pain killing nature of these medications, and it’s easy to see how so many people are at risk of slipping into addiction.

Why it Matters:

Recent research indicates that approximately 20% of people who take opioids for pain are at risk of developing an addiction. This makes sense because we know that opiates affect the pain and pleasure receptors in your brain. Specifically, that they block pain signals and increase the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. It’s no surprise that so many people continue to take these medications. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers…

  • It’s estimated that over 75% of drug overdose deaths are opioid related.
  • The pain relief opioid Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin.
  • Again, nearly 50,000 people die each year as a result of opioid abuse in the US alone.

Next Steps:

The first step in overcoming this epidemic is to understand that there are safe and effective treatment options that don’t require a prescription. This month, our practice is focused on bringing you the best, research-based information about opioids. We’ll also be sharing the latest recommendations from some of the most prominent healthcare organizations that are actively facilitating change. Our office is proud to be a part of the solution to this epidemic by providing Chiropractic care. If you have any questions, or are ready for your next pain-relieving adjustment, stop in and see us!

Science Source(s):

How Opioid-free Anesthesia and Multi modal Pain Management Can Improve Care and Address a Public Health Crisis. Becker Hospital Review 2018

Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2018

Fentanyl vs. Heroin: The Similarities and Differences Between Two Powerful Opioids. American Addiction Centers 2018

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