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Substance Use Epidemic

Opioids are one of the strongest kinds of pain relievers. They can be effective, especially for severe pain. However, if not taken as prescribed, opioids can lead to dependence or addiction.

The United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic. Nationwide between 1999 and 2017, opioids have taken the lives of nearly 400,000 people. In 2017 alone, over 47,000 people died of an opioid-related overdose.

The Opioid Epidemic by the numbers: 70,630 people died from drug overdose in 2019. 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids in the past year (2019). 1.6 million people had an opioid use disorder in the past year (2019). 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year (2019). 745,000 people used heroin in the past year (2019). 50,000 people used heroin for the first time, 1.6 million people misused prescription pain relievers for the first time, 14,480 deaths attributed to overdosing on heroin, 48,006 deaths attributed to overdosing on synthetic opioids other than methadone.