August 23, 2017

Opiate Statistics and Facts

[frame align=”left”]Opiate Statistics and Facts[/frame]It is no secret that the abuse of opiate drugs can be fatal. The risks of addiction, even when taking a prescribed opiate painkiller, are high. Individuals and families face this problem across the nation and around the world. Opiate addicts do not fit a certain stereotype or discriminate. When it comes to opiate addiction all ages, ethnic groups, or economic class is at the same risk of becoming an addict. Drugs like heroin, OxyContin, Vicadin and Lortab are available on the street, and even in the doctor’s office. Understanding the full impact of these opiate-based drugs in the community is difficult to track.

Read a few of the statistics concerning opiate listed below concerning the use and abuse in the United States. Some of these opiate statistics may be shocking.

Crime Wave

At least half of all individuals arrested for serious, violent crimes (murder, assault) were under the influence of opiates or other drugs when arrested. With the number of people who use and abuse drugs, like heroin, this should not come as a surprise, and yet it does. According to the National Institute of Health, 3.7 million people have used heroin at some point in their lives. Over 119,000 people reported using the drug within one month prior to taking part in the 2003 study. 314,000 American had used heroin in the year before the survey.

Children at Risk

There are two disturbing statistics concerning opiate use and children in studies conducted in the past several years (2003-2009). The concerns the overall use of opiates as a drug of choice, and the second concerns children directly.

In 2006, 2.4 million Americans used opiates. While this is disturbing by itself, this number is in reference to individuals aged 12 years and older. Many children begin taking opiates in their own home, taking pain medication directly from their parents’ medicine cabinet. In fact, at the time of the survey, 55.7 percent of those individuals aged 12 years and older who reported using prescription opiates for a reason other than medical received the drugs from a friend or relative for free.

The next concern is the reasons many individuals begin to take opiates. Nearly two-thirds of individuals who seek treatment in a rehabilitation facility or treatment center report some form of children abuse, either sexually or physically. Child abuse is a huge contributing factor when it comes to whether an individual will choose to use illicit drugs and whether they may become dependent upon prescription medication.

The Costs of Drug Addiction in the United States

When making a statement for the cost of drug addition, from a statistical point of view, it is important to note how drug addiction affects the nation financially. Drug addiction and the abuse of opiates and other drugs leads to hospital and medical bills, many of which go unpaid because the individual being treated are unable to maintain employment due to severe addictions. As employers are unable to maintain a steady and reliable workforce, they spend money to train new employees, passing those costs on to the consumer. Insurance companies take a financial blow when they must pay out claims for robberies, burglaries and other thefts committed by drug-addicted individuals who, because they are unable to remain employed, turn to crime to support their need for drugs. Insurance companies also pay out medical expenses or covered individuals who are dependent upon prescription opiates, perhaps not realizing they are facilitating the use of drugs by their insured members. Finally, there are the costs of traffic accidents, and increased auto insurance rates across to board to help cover the accidents of uninsured motorists.

When all sources of loss figured into the statistic, over $484 billion dollars spent annual because of opiate addiction.

Numbers on the Rise

In a 2009 survey conducted by the National Institute of Health, abuse of prescription narcotics rose 12% from the previous study. An important note is the increase in opiate use, specifically the opiate oxycodone (OxyContin). This particular opiate showed an increase of 264%.

With numbers and instances of opiate abuse increasing, the rate of death due to overdose can expected to rise as well. In the same 2009 study, conducted between 2003 and 2009, 16,650 individuals died as a direct result of opiate overdose.

It is important to understand that statistics can be shocking, frightening and even disheartening. However, it is possible to beat the statistics. Through education, training, and support, those lost to the blurry world of drug addiction can find their way back to the clear light of a day.

One Last Fact

It is not uncommon for an individual to “successfully” complete a treatment program, only to relapse into the same unhealthy patterns at some point in the future. Opiate treatment is a process and it can take time, longer for some than for others. However, if an individual truly wants to change, and is provided with the support, education and resources they need to be successful, it is possible to live a life free of addiction.