Rising Trends in Prescription Medication Opioid Abuse

The New England Journal of Medicine reported that prescription medication opiate abuse in the United States has increased significantly in the last two decades, correlating with 16,651 opiate-related deaths in 2010 alone.

In the midst of this epidemic lies a wave of opioid analgesics prescribed to patients for pain management that peeked between 2002 and 2010. With such troubling statistics, many states such as Vermont has begun to attack and take initiatives to reduce the number of related deaths. Between 2011 and 2013, prescription opioid abuse plateaued and then finally decreased, suggesting that the United States is making progress. 

We are still a long way from winning the war against opioid abuse, however, the falling trend of prescribing opioid analgesics is a tell-tale sign that America is waking up and finally fighting back against this debilitating addiction.

For the full New England Journal of Medicine article: