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The Opioid Epidemic in America

The Opioid Epidemic in America

The opioid epidemic has turned into a national health crisis over the past couple of decades, touching hundreds to thousands of Americans from all walks of life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 115 people in the United States die from an opioid overdose every day. This crisis dates back to the 1990s, during the time pharmaceutical companies heavily marketed these drugs to doctors and other local pharmacies in Texas.

These marketers also reassured pharmacies in Grand Prairie, Texas that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, which lead to more pharmacists and more doctors prescribing this medication to patients.

This, in turn, resulted in a climb in the misuse of opioids and it soon became clear that they were addictive.

An estimated 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain abuse them, and roughly 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to stronger drugs like heroin.

As a result, records of opioid overdoses have increased in recent years. From the year 1999 to 2016, 200,000 Americans died from overdoses related to prescription opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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