Facts on Narcotics: 10 Alarming Statistics

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Narcotics, commonly known as opiates, have taken on an ulterior use past their medicinal purposes. Opiates do an excellent job at reducing pain symptoms, but also come with certain aftereffects that incite users to keep taking them or using them for recreational purposes.

Narcotic opiate classifications include both prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin, though all types produce the same effects. Opiate-based narcotics work by mimicking the effects of the brain’s natural neurotransmitter chemicals thereby altering the way the brain perceives pain signals.

This mechanism of action also elicits feelings of euphoria and calm in the form of aftereffects. Opiate aftereffects have given rise to a number of facts on narcotics that demonstrate how dangerous these drugs can be.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

While facts on narcotics could just as easily point to how effective these drugs can be at relieving most any type of pain symptoms, the steady rise in opiate addiction rates cannot be ignored in terms of the damage and destruction opiate addictions have wrought in peoples’ lives.

Anyone who’s curious about just how much of an impact opiate addictions have had may spot more than a few eye-openers within these 10 alarming statistics and facts on narcotics.

Facts on Narcotics

Narcotic prescriptions are often misused.

  1. Most narcotic drugs come from dentists, primary care physicians and internal medicine specialists. In terms of who’s prescribing what, 80 percent of all prescription narcotics come from a mere 20 percent of those authorized to prescribe these drugs.
  2. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, facts on narcotics regarding overdose rates show prescription opiates account for an estimated three out of every four prescription-related overdose incidents.
  3. Prescription opiate narcotics have accounted for a 300 percent increase in overdose incidents between the years 1999 and 2008.
  4. Facts on narcotics comparisons between overdose deaths resulting from cocaine and heroin versus prescription opiates show prescription drug overdose incidents exceeded the combined number of overdoses resulting from cocaine and heroin.
  5. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of people reporting using heroin on at least one occasion equaled 4.2 million in 2011. An estimated 23 percent of those who try the drug become addicted.
  6. In 2009, facts on narcotics show an estimated 475,000 emergency room admissions resulted from prescription opiate abuse practices. This is double the number of emergency room admissions recorded in 2004.
  7. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, prescription opiate narcotics should not be used for longer than three to four months at a time due to their potential for abuse and addiction.
  8. In 2010, over 12 million people reported using prescription opiate narcotics for nonmedical purposes.
  9. According to the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, facts on narcotics show the number of heroin-related emergency room visits increased by 12 percent between the years 2008 and 2010.
  10. In terms of who’s most likely to be prescribed a prescription opiate drug, facts on narcotics show low-income individuals and those living in rural areas are prescribed opiates at twice the rate of people who are not on Medicaid. Consequently, the risk of prescription opiate-related overdose increases six-fold for people in these groups.

If you or someone you love needs help for narcotics abuse, call 800-407-7195(Who Answers?) to speak with a caring treatment specialist. 

the Take-Away

Narcotics are commonly prescribed to help patients cope with pain, but these prescriptions are too often diverted to people who want to use them recreationally.