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Combating Prescription and Opioid Drug Abuse

Combating Prescription and Opioid Drug Abuse




On any given day in the United States, there are more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions dispensed, 3,900 people initiate the non-medical use of prescription opioids, 580 people begin heroin use, and 78 people die from opioid related overdose (IMS Health National Prescription Audit, SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, CDC National Vital System). Deaths attributed to overdoses involving opioids, including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin, have quadrupled in the past decade and over 165,000 people have died from prescription overdoses since 1999. This death rate by overdose is higher than deaths by car accident or gun homicides (CDC). Volunteers can help with this crisis by serving on task force to coordinate National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at senior adult retirement communities and senior centers.