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Some Stats About Opioids

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While Covid-19 continues to dominate headlines about health in America, it’s important to remember that there is still an opioid crisis that persists. In some cases, the opioid crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic. 


U.S. government data doesn’t cover studies of what happened in 2020, but, as we begin the new year, it might be appropriate to review some of the statistics currently found on the websites of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Since 1999, 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
  • 450,000 people died from overdoses involving any opioid, including illicit opioids from 1999-2019.


According to the CDC, the rise in opioid overdose deaths can be outlined in three distinct waves:

  • The 1990’s saw an increase in opioid prescriptions, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999.
  • 2010 began rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin.
  • Beginning in 2013, there have been significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly those involving Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). 
    • In a 24-state study (plus the District of Columbia) from January to June 2019 80% of drug overdose deaths involved opioids
      • More than half of those deaths involved IMF or a combination of IMF with another opioid. Here’s the breakdown:
        • IMF only – 19.8%
        • IMF and cocaine – 10.5%
        • IMF and heroin – 10.3%
        • Prescription opioids only – 9.2%
        • Methamphetamine only – 6.3%
        • Cocaine only – 5.5%
        • IMF, heroin and cocaine – 5.1%
        • IMF and methamphetamine – 3.7%
        • IMF and prescription opioids – 3.3%
        • Heroin only – 3.2%

Here are some interesting statistics about naloxone, which when administered, can block or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

  • The number of naloxone prescriptions distributed doubled from 2017 to 2018.
  • One naloxone prescription is dispensed for every 70 high-dose opioid prescriptions.
  • Rural counties are nearly three times more likely to be ranked low in dispensing naloxone than metropolitan counties.


More than 127 million Americans are now receiving Medicine Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from OUD, talk to your doctor or an opioid recovery specialist.


If you think you or a loved one are suffering from OUD, seek treatment by contacting a medical professional.

AnnMarie Fauske
Get Help Fighting Opioid Addiction Today

If you’ve been worried about a loved one, or if you’re concerned about the way you use your pain medication, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible for help. To take the first step, contact us online or call 855-993-0960  right away.

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