Every day in the United States, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose.
Among those who died from prescription opioid overdose between 1999 and 2013:
Most were ages 25 to 54.
This age group had the highest overdose rates compared to other age groups. However, the overdose rate for adults aged 55–64 increased more than seven-fold during this same time period.
The large majority were non-Hispanic whites.
The age-adjusted rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons increased 4.3 times, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 6.8 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates more than doubled for non-Hispanic black persons, from 0.9 per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.5 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates increased only slightly for Hispanic persons, from 1.7 per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2013.
The rates for American Indian or Alaska Natives increased almost four fold from 1.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.1 per 100,000 in 2013.
Men were more likely to die from prescription opioid overdose, but the mortality gap between men and women is closing.
Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses among women increased more than 400% during 1999–2010, compared to 237% among men.
Prescription Opioid Painkillers and the Epidemic of Drug Abuse and Overdose
Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2013. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose caused more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.
There were 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2013. Of these, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to prescription drugs.
Of the 22,767 deaths relating to prescription drug overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid painkillers, and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines.
People who died of drug overdoses often had a combination of benzodiazepines and opioid painkillers in their bodies.
Drug misuse and abuse caused about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits in 2011. Of these, more than 1.4 million ED visits were related to prescription drugs.
Among those ED visits, 501,207 visits were related to anti-anxiety and insomnia medications, and 420,040 visits were related to opioid analgesics.
Benzodiazepines are frequently found among people treated in EDs for misusing or abusing drugs.
Nearly two million Americans, aged 12 or older, either abused or were dependent on opioid painkillers in 2013.
Costs of Prescription Opioid Overdose
In the United States, prescription opioid abuse costs were about $55.7 billion in 2007. Of this amount, 46% was attributable to workplace costs (e.g., lost productivity), 45% to healthcare costs (e.g., abuse treatment), and 9% to criminal justice costs.
Read article here: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html
Could cannabis help with reducing those numbers? According to this Newsweek article,
Is it time to start talking about cannabis yet? Learn more and talk about it with your friends and family. We have lost enough lives because of Big Pharma’s lies. It’s time for a change.