There is no doubt that as a country America is facing a growing opioid epidemic. Local towns, counties and states are posting horrific numbers related to opioid addiction, overdoses and overdose deaths. Throughout the country, treatment providers, recovery advocates and non-profit organizations pushing awareness and scholarship dollars to increase access to treatment are fighting against a rising tide. Government organizations are holding meetings, round table discussions and committees looking to find and implement solutions to the growing problem.
Last week, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) held their annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Thousands of ASAM members met over four days overlooking Oriole Park at Camden Yards to discuss addiction, treatment and recovery. During those four days one thing became clear and was reinforced time and time again: The opioid addiction problem in America is growing and has reached epidemic proportions. Here are some chilling numbers from ASAM in terms of 2016 Opioid Addiction facts and figures:
- Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.5
- In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.
- A recent study found further revealed that while almost 85 percent of doctors screen for signs of prior narcotic painkiller abuse, just one-third ask about a family history of addiction. Only 5 percent offer direct help to patients when signs of abuse are uncovered, and less than 40 percent refer such patients for treatment elsewhere, the survey found
- A recent report from December 2015 revealed that more than 47,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose in 2014, a 14% jump from 2013
- In a national survey from 2014, 4.3 million Americans engaged in non-medical use of prescription painkillers each month
- In the state of Maryland, heroin deaths have increased by 186% from 2010 to 2015
America is in the grips of a nationwide addiction epidemic. Opioid (prescription painkillers and heroin) are at the top of the public consciousness, but there is little doubt that alcohol, marijuana and synthetic drugs have a large part to play in the crisis the nation now faces. Education, prevention and long-term comprehensive treatment need to be available nationwide for those in need to get the help they deserve.
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.