What started the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?
  • In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured medical companies that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers so, in turn, healthcare providers started to prescribe them in greater quantities. 

  • This led to large spread misuse of opioids. It then became clear that opioids were highly addictive but it was too late. The rate of opioid overdoses increased greatly. In 2015, more than 33,000 deaths in the U.S. was because of opioid overdoses.

What we know about the Opioid Epidemic.
  • Roughly about 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. 

  • Somewhere between 8 to 12 percent that misuse opioids develop a disorder.

  • Roughly 80 percent of people that use heroin first misused prescription opioids.

  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states. 

  • The Midwestern regions saw a 70 percent increase in opioid overdoses from July 2016 to September 2017.

  • Opioid overdoses increases by 54 percent in large cities in 16 different states.

  • Opioid are highly addictive and highly potent making it harder to break away from them.

What HHS and NIH are doing about it.

In 2017 the HHS declared a public heath emergency. They made a 5 step plan to combat the opioid epidemic.

  1. Improving access to treatment and recovery services.

  2. Promoting use of overdose-reversing drugs.

  3. Strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance.

  4. Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.

  5. Advancing better practices for pain management.

CHHAR - Community Homes for Homelessness and Addiction Recovery                     Design and Maintenance by Brenna Early, CHHAR Junior Student Senator.