I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the growing opioid epidemic here in the United States. Tomorrow Octoer 28th, is the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, because sometimes addiction starts with something that you are prescribed from your doctor and a few of us on the web would like to educate you on the proper way to dispose of your prescription medicine, so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
If you’re a statistics person, here are a few for you
- An estimated 2 million+ Americans have a problem with prescription based opioids.
- The misuse of and addiction to opioids including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl is a serious national crisis.
- More than 300,000 people have died from opioid overdoses in the last 15 years.
- Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids.
- Opioid abuse is partially responsible for the increased number of children in foster care.
- Many people simply can’t afford the treatment they need for their addiction, and many states don’t have any kind of assistance program to help them.
Some people may ask how in the heck did this happen? Well, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in the late 1990’s pharmaceutical companies were telling the medical community that patients who would use prescription opioid pain relievers would not become addicted. This in turn had healthcare providers prescribing them at increased rates.
The Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Still need more statistics?
- Roughly 21-29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
- Between 8-12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 4-6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
I have worked with Collective Bias a few times (I’m sure you’ve seen the disclaimers and the name pop up) and though this post is not sponsored, I volunteered to be part of this group to talk about this epidemic. Collective Bias has a parent company called Inmar and they have created a consumer drug take back solution where people can drop off their extra prescription drugs at designated locations for proper disposal and a national program to supply DEA-compliant containers that will allow healthcare providers and law enforcement agencies to easily and safely collect surplus and expired medications and ship them back to Inmar for certified destruction in compliance with DEA regulations.
If you click here for the DEA website, just enter your zip code to find a location near you.