If a doctor prescribed you opioid-based medication after an injury, you might have some concerns. After all, prescription pills can be dangerous if one isn’t careful. However, things have been changing, as indicated by opioid data. This data can help you be better informed about what’s going on with opioids…
OPIOID DATA: TRACKING AN EPIDEMIC
LOWER PRESCRIPTION RATES
One thing opioid data shows is the change in prescription practices. Back when opioids were first available, doctors prescribed them at very high rates. This, of course, led to the very high rates of addiction and abuse among those who took them. Ever since doctors have been working to better handle how they prescribe these pills.
Things really peaked from around 2010-2012. During these years, for every 100 people, doctors were prescribing around 80 opioids. Plus, one-eighth of these prescriptions were for high-dosages of opioids. Since then, the numbers of prescriptions have been decreasing. In 2017, this number was at 58 people, with just 5 of those being high-dosage.
HIGHER OVERDOSE RATES
While prescriptions are going down, other opioid data shows why these pills are still such a problem. Since 1999, the amount of opioid-related overdoses and deaths has continued to rise. In 1999, this number was at 16, 849. However, as of 2017, there were over 70,000 reported cases of opioid overdose deaths.
Still, if prescription rates are going down, how are overdose rates rising so drastically? It’s mainly due to the response to the less number of prescriptions. Drug dealers who can’t get standard opioids are now selling dangerous synthetic ones like fentanyl. These synthetic drugs are a lot more powerful, which people don’t realize, and so they overdose by accident.
ADDICTIONS ARE HARDER TO KICK
It can be hard to overcome any kind of addiction. However, opioid data shows that these addictions are especially rough. Out of all those who try and quit these drugs, 60% will end up relapsing. Plus, many might also try to look for other drugs, such as heroin, as a substitute for opioids.
This is why it’s important to try and receive help when you want to quit. Making use of an inpatient program, such as a rehab center, can do a lot to make quitting easier. These programs also help with adjusting to living an opioid-free life once you’re released.