PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE STATISTICS
It may seem like an impossible task to halt the runaway train of our opioid crisis. But Oklahoma has prepared a plan to do just that which can serve as a model for other states and let us estimate the price tag to eliminate this catastrophe.
If you’ve heard of fentanyl, odds are you know something about just how dangerous and risky this drug is. By itself, the opioid drug fentanyl causes thousands upon thousands of overdose deaths every year. And it happens even when someone is using the substance exactly as prescribed.
If we focus too closely on the opioid epidemic, we could miss the growing problem with abuse of stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, and prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall and others. Just like opioids, these drugs can be deadly.
When we as a nation face a significant problem or threat that we struggle to resolve, we tend to err in one of two ways. Either we become overwhelmed by the issue as a whole, feeling more or less incapable in addressing it, or we get too focused in on one or two facets of the problem, never able to solve all of its parts.
Surviving addiction to opioids like heroin becomes vastly harder when an unpredictable and powerful illicit drug like fentanyl hits the market and spreads across the country. Tragically, an increasing number of people are not surviving their encounters with this drug.
It’s no longer a news story that our nation is struggling with an opioid addiction epidemic. It’s been going on for some time. This is an epidemic that started out with opioid pain relievers, and even though other opioid addictions have cropped up since then, a decent piece of the pie chart that is the American opioid addiction crisis is still comprised of pain reliever addiction.
We are approaching a point in our society where drug and alcohol addiction are our primary concerns in the overall health and vitality of the American people.
The United States is in the midst of struggling with its worst pharmaceutical drug addiction epidemic to date. Pharmaceuticals have been in use for decades, but only in the last fifteen to twenty years have manufacturers significantly increased the production of addictive pharmaceutical drugs.
According to a U.S. Health Report by the National Institutes of Health, about one in ten Americans of the age of twelve or older are now addicted to drugs or alcohol. This is addiction at never before seen levels, a crippling trend of substance abuse unlike any our country has experienced before.
Since the turn of the century, drug abuse and alcoholism have more or less reduced amongst young adult, teen, and adolescent age demographics. This is something to be proud of, as the 1980s and 1990s saw some of the worst substance abuse habits amongst young people.