Since its emergence in the late 1990s, the Opioid Crisis has been plowing like an enraged bull through the streets of our country and our friends Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Since 2016 alone, nearly 117,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of opioid overdoses. Even more disturbing, retail pharmacies dispensed an estimated 214 million painkillers in 2015. While some good news has emerged concerning the use of heroin (a potentially lethal synthetic), lawmakers have still cracked down on this elusive and (for the most part) fully legal division of drugs. However, there is more to this situation than you may think. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts you might not know about the American Opioid Crisis.
Opioid Addiction and Fatalities
In 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that an estimated 11.5 million Americans (ages 12 and older) misused prescription opioids to some degree. In that same year, 948,000 people (0.3% of the U.S. population) ages 12 and older consumed heroin. Even more interesting, research shows that people who become addicted to opioids may switch to heroin, a cheaper alternative. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 50% of young people turn to heroin after using opioids.
Additional research has shown that the rate of opioid-related deaths has increased by a staggering 533% from 2002 to 2016. To combat this issue, emergency teams utilize a lifesaving nasal spray called naloxone.
Funding and Government Actions
Here is a closer look at how our President and government are combating the Opioid Crisis:
- 2013: The cost of medical care and abuse treatment for addiction to opioids (and overdoses) is approximately $78.5 billion
- 2016: Our government passes the 21st Century Cures Act, which distributed two years’ worth of grants, funding more high-quality treatment and explorative prevention systems (statewide level).
- April 2017: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price announces that the government will distribute $485 million to all U.S. states and territories (as part of the first wave of grants).
- August 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces the creation and approval of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit (Department of Justice)
Always remember that opioids and other dangerous drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance abuse disorder or addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug addiction and substance abuse troubles today.