10M US adults report nonmedical use of opioids

Ten million adults in the U.S. reported using opioids without a prescription in 2012-13, meaning the nonmedical use of prescription opioids among U.S. adults more than doubled in a 10-year span, according to a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

For the study, researchers derived data from the 2001-2002 and 2012-2013 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's epidemiological surveys, which examine alcohol abuse, drug disorders and mental health conditions among the U.S. population.

"The increasing misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers poses a myriad of serious public health consequences," said Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which contributed funding for the study. "These include increases in opioid use disorders and related fatalities from overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of newborns who experience neonatal abstinence syndrome. In some instances, prescription opioid misuse can progress to intravenous heroin use with consequent increases in risk for HIV, hepatitis C and other infections."

As Americans continue to abuse opioids at alarming rates, both legislators and medical experts continue to search for solutions.

Learn more about the opioid epidemic here.

More articles on opioid abuse: 
6 in 10 patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills following treatment  
Senate panel approves $261M funding bill to fight opioid epidemic  
Fentanyl: 7 things to know about the drug that killed Prince 

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars