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. Methadone Treatment Line

    Methandone/Buprenorphine Myths & Facts

    Myth: Taking methadone or buprenorphine is replacing one addiction with another. 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.
  1. Bottle Of Naloxone

    Naloxone Myths Vs. The Facts

    Myth: Having naloxone available encourages people to take more drugs. Fact: When someone has access to naloxone, their level of drug use does not change. Being revived with naloxone is not fun. It can cause painful and severe physical and emotional symptoms. For this reason, people only use naloxone in life-threatening situations. 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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  1. Naloxone Kit

    Individuals Need To Carry Life-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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  1. Overdose Deaths On The Rise

    Drug 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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  1. Opioid Overdoes On The Rise In ERs

    ER'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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  1. From Prescripiton Drugs To Heroin

    From Rx Drugs To Heroin Addiction

    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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