Millions of Americans have medical conditions that cause them either acute or chronic pain. For many, the go-to solution for pain management involves prescribed opioids.
However, these medications come with the significant danger of abuse, addiction and overdose. In fact, the growing number of people with an opioid use disorder has led to a rise in overdoses and deaths. There are new figures on these trends available from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Opioid Overdose Deaths Soaring Among Certain Age Groups
The Kaiser Family Foundation collects and distributes data on a variety of serious health conditions related to national health issues. One of those is opioid overdose deaths.
The most complete data for analysis was available through 2015, although there are some figures available for 2016. In 2015, there were 33,091 opioid overdose deaths in the United States. The top states for these tragedies were Ohio, New York, California and Florida.
According to the statistics reported by Kaiser, it is not just younger Americans that experience opioid overdoses. In fact, the highest figures are coming from other age groups. In 2016, 9,747 Americans ages 35 to 44 and 9,074 people ages 45 to 54 lost their lives to an opioid overdose.
A telling drug trend is an increase in overdose deaths among those in the 55 or older age group. This is the group that has had the most dramatic increase in overdose deaths as a percentage of the total for the year.
In 1999, just six percent of the total opioid overdose deaths (518 people) involved people ages 55 or older. By 2016, that figure had jumped to 19 percent, representing 6,277 people.
Other Opioid Overdose Death Data
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription painkillers. The most common drugs found in these tragedies include oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone. Overdose deaths were also higher among men than among women.
An opioid use disorder is a serious condition that requires addiction treatment. This is not something that can or should be faced in isolation. Lasting recovery is possible, but it generally requires the care and attention of a team of addiction specialists that can guide you through the withdrawal process and administer comprehensive, evidence-based services during each stage of treatment.
Where to Find Reliable Addiction Treatment
Contact The Recovery Village now to speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate specialist that can answer your questions and thoroughly outline your admissions options.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.