America on drugs: Shocking one-third of U.S. adults are prescribed opioids

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(Natural News) If you think that America’s opioid epidemic hasn’t touched your life, statistics show there is a good chance you are wrong, with one out of every three American adults taking opioids during 2015. That equates to 92 million adults. It’s a shocking statistic that means you could well know more than one person who is taking these highly addictive drugs.

A disturbing new government study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that 38 percent of American adults were prescribed opioids such as OxyContin and Percocet in 2015, and many of these people misused these dangerous drugs. The author of the study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse Deputy Director Dr. Wilson Compton, said that he was surprised by the findings.

The researchers assessed the data collected from more than 50,000 American adults in 2015 in face-to-face interviews carried out by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The groups that were most likely to be prescribed opioids were women, people aged 50 and above, and people who were not college graduates.

In total, 5 percent of American adults, or 11.5 million people, were misusing opioids, whether it was by taking the drugs without a prescription, taking them to get high, or taking more than prescribed. Moreover, around 1 percent of adults reported being addicted to the drugs. If that sounds like a small fraction to you, think again: It equates to around 1.9 million Americans, and it’s possible some people who are addicted were not so forthcoming in interviews and that the real number is higher. Those with low family incomes and no job or health insurance were more likely to have this problem.

Among those who misuse opioids, nearly two thirds said they were doing it in order to alleviate pain. More than two out five got the drugs from friends or family. The researchers said that many people are prescribed opioids they don’t really need and then pass them on to family and friends who are in pain. This indicates that doctors are not only prescribing the drugs when they’re not needed, but that they are also writing prescriptions that are too big. (Click to Site)

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