In recent months opioid addiction in the US has reached critical levels, resulting in the Department of Health and Human Services declaring a public health emergency. Each year, around 60,000 die in America as a result of overdose and the problem is much more widespread than many people fully appreciate. This is because a lot of opioid addiction has its roots in prescription medicines, which gives the drug a more ‘acceptable’ face that belies the very real problem that currently exists.
Prescription Opioids Amplify Substance Abuse
Misconceptions around Opioid Addiction
One of the main reasons opioid addiction has increased in the US is due to the rising number of prescriptions issued, up from 76 million in 1991 to an incredible 207 million in 2013, say NIDA. Because addictive pain relief drugs are now more available than ever before, we are now beginning to see the negative consequences play out, which have resulted in overdose deaths more than tripling in the past 20 years.