The Opioid Crisis


Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.  The misuse of and addiction to opioids — including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl — is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

  1. Targeting_Children_250'Rainbow Fentanyl'—This Is Evil
    Brightly colored fentanyl is being produced in multiple forms, including pills, powder, blocks that resemble sidewalk and other variations "made to look like candy." Drug cartels are deliberately targeting children and young people to increase their sales of highly addictive—and potentially deadly—fentanyl. 

  2. Get The Answers. Spread The Word. Warn Those You Know & Love!
    Get The Fentanyl Facts_250When asked how small amount of fentanyl can be lethal, Dr. Kelvin Walls' response was chilling: "If you can see it, it can kill you." What is fentanyl? Why do drug dealers use it? What makes it so deadly? What are the odds you'll get a fatal dose if you take a counterfeit pill? Isn't fentanyl used in medicial treatments? Get the answers. Spread the word. Warn those you know and love. It could be a matter of life and death. More than two-thirds of overdose deaths are now fentanyl-related.

  3. One_Pill_Can_Kill_Slide_250Counterfeit Pills—‘Widely Available’ & ‘More Lethal’
    Prescription pills not obtained from a licensed pharmacy are not only illegal to possess, but when taken can also be dangerous. There’s a good chance those pills might be fakes with potentially fatal side effects. According to the DEA, counterfeit pills are “widely available” and “more lethal than ever before.” Seizures of phony pills containing fentanyl have increased 420% since 2019. Just two milligrams of fentanyl can be a deadly dose.
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  4. Prescription_Medicines_250The 'Gateway Drugs' To The Opioid Crisis
    During National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, COMBAT Director Vince Ortega is urging people to remember doctor-prescribed painkillers were the “gateway drugs” that triggered America’s ongoing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths. Across the nation, another 49,860 lives were lost due to opioid overdoses in 2019—a 50.7% increase compared to the 33,091 lives lost in 2015. Despite efforts to curtail the use of—and addictiveness of—prescribed opioid medications, the FDA notes, “The scope of the opioid crisis continues to grow.”
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  5. MethadoneMethadone/Buprenorphine Myths & Fact
    There is a difference between addiction and physical dependence. Medications like methadone and buprenorphine help stabilize people who are addicted to opioids, which improves their ability to maintain jobs and relationships. Separate the myths from the facts regarding these two medications used to treat opioid addiction through helping people feel stable and reducing their cravings to use opioids like heroin.
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  6. NaloxoneNaloxone Myths & Facts
    Separate other myths about naloxone from the facts—facts like the surgeon general calling for naloxone to be more readily available to help prevent overdose deaths.
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  7. OD_KitLife-Saving OD Med
    Many paramedics and police officers carry an “Opioid Overdose Kit” as part of their standard-issue equipment. The Surgeon General is urging more Americans to acquire the same life-saving medication these first responders give overdose victims: Naloxone.
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  8. OD_DeathsDrug Overdose Deaths Rise 21.5%
    An average of 174 Americans per day — about one every eight minutes and 20 seconds — lost their lives due to drug overdoses in 2016. The death toll for the year was staggering: 63,632. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths involved an opioid.
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  9. OD_IncreasingER's Are Treating More Opioid OD's
    In 2016 opioid overdoses—from prescription medications, illicit drugs or a combination of both—killed 63,632 people in the U.S., a 21.4% increase compared to 2015. From July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoses rose more than 30% nationwide.
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  10. From_Rx_To_HeroinFrom Rx Drugs To Heroin AddictionR's Are Treating More Opioid OD's
    In the 1960s, 80% of people who became opioid addicts were first exposed to the drug through using heroin. Today, 75% first get hooked on opioids through a prescription drug—then start using heroin, which is often less expensive than prescription drugs.
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) offers this Helpline to provide 24-hour free and confidential treatment referrals.

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