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The Truth Behind Opiate Addiction Statistics

Dillon McClernon

Authored by Dillon McClernon

Understanding Opiate Addiction Statistics and How They Drive Opiate detox Centers


If you treat patients with opiate dependencies, you understand that opiate addiction statistics have worsened in the past decade.  Opiate addiction statistics report addiction to opiates and painkillers as one of the fastest growing addictions in the United States of America.  The harsh reality is many Americans have become victim to this dangerous and sometimes lethal addiction that often leads to treatment at opiate detox centers.

Just how serious is the opiate addiction epidemic?

While heroin is the most addictive illegal opiate, codeine, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Percocet, and Methadone are common prescription opiates.  The World Health Organization estimates that over two million Americans are addicted to opiate prescription drugs.  Additional opiate addiction statistics have concluded:

  • 52 million people have used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons at least once in their lifetime.
  • 5 percent of high school seniors admitted to abusing OxyContin
  • 76 million opiate prescriptions were written in 1991.  210 million opiate prescriptions were filled by pharmacies in 2010.
  • Authorities linked 50% of crimes to opiate addictions.  Many of the people committing the crimes were under the influence of opiates.

A Silver Lining?

Even though the addiction to opiates has been on the rise, there also appears to be a silver lining.  Government officials acknowledge the opiate addiction statistics rate continues to grow like wildfire.  The rise of opiate addiction statistics has initiated many local governments to put a Prescription Drug Prevention Program in place.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 states currently participate in these prescription drug programs.  The purpose of these prevention programs is to track prescriptions from doctors to patients.

Over the years, addiction specialists and recovery programs have performed thorough reports regarding trends within opiate addiction statistics.  Some of the top opiate addiction statistics include:

  • Prescribed medications are responsible for overdoses due to the misuse of prescribed pain medication.
  • We found that 3 out of 4 people who abuse prescription drugs gained access to them from a family member or friend.
  • Alarmingly, only 20% of doctors have prescribed 80% of prescription painkillers.
  • Opiate addiction statistics reported 14,800 painkiller related deaths occurred in 2008 alone.

Most primarily use opiates as painkillers.  They associate them with degenerative diseases such as arthritis and cancer.  They also provide temporary relief from pain due to surgeries, dental work, and physical injuries.  When our patient exposes themself to opiates, he or she can develop an addiction or dependency on the drug and may require treatment at one of our opiate detox centers.  For example, our patient may not be satisfied with the pain relief from the prescribed amount of medication.  He or she may decide to increase the dosage without consulting the prescribing physician.  They suggest medical professionals take caution when prescribing pain medication. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), opiate overdose-related deaths quadrupled from 1999-2013.

In Conclusion

Lighthouse understands the seriousness of the opiate epidemic in the United States.  Not only do we provide the best treatment options and accessible facilities, but we also serve as educators to the local communities.  In addition to understanding that addiction is an illness and not a choice, we offer free seminars and workshops to address the addiction epidemic and remove the stigma associated to addiction and substance abuse.  We approach our patients and families with a sense of compassion and empathy and ensure a high level of respect towards our patients and their families

We understand the recovery process can be a lengthy and challenging process.  However, with our detoxification programs at our opiate detox centers, inpatient/residential treatment, outpatient treatments, and additional services, our expert team will be present to help patients complete a full recovery every step of the way.  We hope to provide more affordable care options for our patients by strategically placing our campuses near local communities in need of rehabilitation services.  It can be alarming to read the current opiate addiction statistics.  However, we are here to help turn things around. To learn more about the opiate epidemic or about our services, please call us at 1-800-RECOVERY.

Authored by

Dillon McClernon

Dillon McClernon

Dillon currently serves as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at RCA. After his tenure as Chief Communications Officer and senior advisor to RCA, he opted for a full-time position at RCA where he could build a new team linking sales and marketing to directly impact RCA’s mission of saving 1 million lives.


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