Over the past two decades, opioids have risen to become one of the worst public health problems in America. The magnitude of abuse spans illicit heroin use, synthetics and also prescription painkillers. Statistics and emergency room incidents hold proof of an opioid epidemic in America.
Millions of people misuse prescription opioids, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It is estimated that 130+ people die every day from an opioid-related overdose. By some estimates, this is more than combined combat deaths during WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War.
Brief History of the Opioid Epidemic in America
Of course, one way to understand the opioid epidemic timeline is through learning its history. During the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies offered reassurances that opioid painkillers were not addictive. As a result, healthcare providers began prescribing the medications at greater rates.
In reality, this led to widespread misuse of prescription and non-prescription forms of opioids. The pace at which this happened took the medical community by surprise. People were becoming addicted.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in 2017. To combat the crisis, the department developed a 5-point strategy. The first point was issuing an $800 million grant to support prevention, treatment and also recovery services.
Second, HHS seeks to educate the public about the opioid crisis. This includes reporting of overdose data. Third, promoting better pain management methods is essential. The fourth strategic point is to make life-saving overdose-reversing drugs widely available.
Finally, HHS support research on the connection between pain and addiction. This part of the strategy includes a public-private partnership.
Statistics about the Opioid Epidemic in America
Some alarming statistics on the opioid epidemic timeline includes:
- Approximately 21-29% of chronic pain prescription opioids are misused
- Of those who misuse prescription opioids, about 8-12% transition to heroin
- Between 8& and 12% of people prescribed opioids develop a substance use disorder
- Forty-five states, including an Illinois opioid epidemic, saw a 30% increase in overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017
- Opioid overdoses increased by 70% in the Midwest during the same period
The opioid epidemic timeline leaves a public health crisis in its wake. Not only have misuse overdose increased, but use during pregnancy births more patients. Babies are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and suffer from opioid withdrawal.
The Face of the Opioid Epidemic in America
Millions of families across the country feel the effects of opioid addiction. However, these problems are not limited to the person who is battling this disease. No demographic remains untouched. This highly addictive substance interferes with many lives.
Professionals, middle-class families and upper-class families are subject to the grips of opioid addiction. In particular, veterans receive opioid prescriptions to soothe post-traumatic stress. College students may abuse opioids to ease their anxieties about coursework.
Furthermore, children miss out on critical bonding time when their parents abuse drugs. This can also make it difficult for them to form emotional connections as they get older.
Getting Help for Opioid Addiction
Gateway Aurora can help if you or a loved one suffer from opioid addiction. Our opioid addiction treatment Aurora Illinois provides a stable life of sobriety.
Of course, our ultimate goal is reversing the Illinois opioid epidemic. We offer treatment solutions such as:
We are devoted to solving the opioid epidemic in America so let us help you begin anew. Call [Direct] to learn more about how our personalized approach can help.