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Study Gives New Data on Opioids Use

Jasmine Roziers2 years ago

Studies done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that there has been a significant increase in adults taking opioids. The studies also show there is an increase in death among adults using opioids in adults over the age of 19-years-old.

Details of the Opioid Studies

According to Medscape, the CDC reported that the sales of opioid painkillers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. Additionally, mortality reports show that opioid-related deaths per 100,000 have more than tripled between the years of 1999 and 2012. 

Opioids are medication used for pain. There are three types of opioids, “weaker-than-morphine”,”morphine equivalent” and”stronger-than- morphine”. Some common “weaker-than-morphine” opioids are codeine, dihydrocodeine, meperidine and pentazocine. Some common “morphine equivalent” opioids are hydrocodone and tapentadol. Lastly, some “stronger-than- morphine” opioids are fentanyl, oxycodone and methadone. 

Between 2011 and 2012, 43-percent of opioid users reported taking a “morphine-equivalent” opioid while 37-percent said they had taken an opioid that was “stronger-than-morphine.”

These findings will likely strengthen ongoing controversies facing the prescription and use of opioid painkillers.

Prescription Drug Overdose

The following information was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths recorded in the Unites States in 2013, the majority (22,767 deaths) were associated with pharmaceuticals.
  • In 2011, there were 1.4 million emergency department visits involving nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals. 420,040 visits were linked to opioids.
  • Between 2004 and 2005, about 71,000 children visited emergency departments due to medication overdose instances excluding self-harm, abuse, and recreational use.
  • Opioid use during pregnancy has also been linked to multiple birth defects.


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