Here are some of the startling facts from our country, state and county:*
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opiates – commonly known
as prescription pain killers are the most abused drugs in the United States.
Every day in Ohio, we lose 4-6 people to an overdose.
Ohio is second in the nation in drug overdoses.
Last year in Ohio, there were 1,177 deaths due to heroin.
Opiate addiction claimed the lives of more than 150 people in Summit County in 2015, compared
to 102 in 2014.
Almost 750 million doses of prescription painkillers were dispensed in Summit County in 2014
(from the county Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board). Enough painkillers to give 68 pills to
every county resident both child and adult.
Did you know?*
300% more Americans die each year from prescription medication than illegal drugs.
Also, nearly 50 percent of young people who inject heroin started by abusing Rx drugs.
According to the CDC, the sale of legitimately prescribed painkillers quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.
Addiction to prescription drugs can happen quickly, and recovery is very difficult and costly.
Medications such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin are synthetic Heroin – they are just as
addictive and deadly when abused.
In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every
American adult their own bottle of pills.
4 out 5 new heroin users first began with use of prescription painkillers. As a consequence, the rate of
heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2000 to 2013. During this 14-year period, the rate of
heroin overdose showed an average increase of 6% per year from 2000 to 2010, followed by a larger
average increase of 37% per year from 2010 to 2013.
94% of respondents in a 2014 survey of people in treatment for opioid addiction said they chose to
use heroin because prescription opioids were “far more expensive and harder to obtain.”
People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use. Most
adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative.
*sources: Akron Beacon Journal and National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, Stop Heroin From Killing Committee
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),
http://www.cdc. gov/vitalsigns/opioid-prescribing/, National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief. 2015:190:1-8, Cicero TJ, Ellis MS, Surratt
HL, Kurtz SP. The changing face of heroin use in the United States: a retrospective analysis of the past 50 years. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(7)
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