Opioid Epidemic

The American Progress states that every 16 minutes, a person in America dies from an opioid overdose. Between 2014 and 2016, opioid overdose deaths increased by approximately 48 percent nationwide due to the increase of written prescriptions. Doctors wrote 259 million opiate prescriptions in 2012—enough for every American adult to have their own prescription, with 19 million to spare. Among women alone, prescription painkiller overdose deaths jumped 400 percent from 1999 to 2010. During the same period, opioid deaths rose by nearly 53 percent among Latinos and 84 percent among blacks. Americans account for less than 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 80 percent of all opioids produced globally. Roughly 1 out of every 100 American adults have an opioid-use disorder.