The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. To combat it, the first step is acknowledging the problem. Get the facts about what’s happening and get up to speed on why we the people must come together to make a meaningful difference.

The UnTOLD Story

As part of the largest civil action in U.S. history, the secrecy of details surrounding the rise and proliferation of the opioid epidemic has finally lifted. A U.S. District judge ordered information from the ARCOS (Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System) database, compiled and monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), be released, giving us a real look into the depth of this crisis. And it’s mind-blowing.

76 billion opioid pills — yep, that’s billion with a “b” — were distributed in the U.S. from 2006 through 2012. That’s 36 pills for every adult and child in this country … every year. Right in our backyards, Leavenworth, Kan., was among the areas hardest hit. In the county during this window of time, 118,021,330 pain pills were distributed, or the equivalent of 227 pills per person per year.

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Opioid pills were distributed in the U.S. from 2006-2012
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Pills for every adult and child in the U.S. every YEAR
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Deaths fueled by the prescription opioid epidemic during this time frame

Kansas Data

  • From 2006 to 2014 there were 1,139,992,606 prescription pain pills supplied to Kansas.
  • 344,690,220 of the pills were distributed by McKesson Corporation and 428,882,400 were manufactured by SpecGx LLC.
  • VA CONSOLIDATED MAIL OUTPATIENT PHARMACY, LEAVENWORTH pharmacy received the highest number of pills.

Missouri Data

  • From 2006 to 2014 there were 2,168,750,877 prescription pain pills supplied to Missouri.
  • 434,751,920 of the pills were distributed by Walgreen Co and 799,339,247 were manufactured by SpecGx LLC.
  • INTERLOCK PHARMACY SYSTEMS, FLORISSANT pharmacy received the highest number of pills.

Shocking Statistics

The opioid epidemic is considered the deadliest drug crisis in American history. The numbers will surprise you.

66%

Prescription and illicit opioids accounted for 66 percent of drug poisoning deaths nationwide in 2016

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

632,331

Between 1999 and 2016, there were more drug poisoning deaths (632,331) than the total American military and civilian deaths during World War II (418,500)

Source: Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse and Overdose Strategic Plan, July 2018

No. 1

Drug poisonings are the leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S.

Source: Statista, Rate of injury related deaths in the U.S. 2016 and 2017 by principal type. https://www.statista.com/statistics/527432/unintentional-injury-related-death-rate-in-the-us-by-principal-type/

Every 12 minutes

There were 42,249 opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2016. That’s an average of 115 deaths per day nationwide — 1 every 12 minutes.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

75%

3 out of 4 Americans who use heroin say their heroin addiction began with use of prescription opioids

Source: Cicero, T. E. (2014). The changing face of heroin use in the United States: a retrospective analysis of the past 50 years. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(7), 821-826. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.366

11.5 million

11.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2016

Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). About the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html#data

5%

The U.S. consumes the majority of prescription opioids in the world — but only makes up 5% of world population

Source: Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse and Overdose Strategic Plan, July 2018

2.1 million

2.1 million Americans had an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) in 2016

Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). About the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html#data

Via NPR

From Prescription Pills to Made-to-Order Poison

Sure, America has since acknowledged the problem. And measures have been taken to limit prescription opioids in the marketplace. But the crisis has continued to morph and overdose deaths have soared. Welcome to the epidemic’s third wave.

Read Article

When Legal Turns Lethal

Addiction is a complex disease of the brain and body. It disrupts regions of the brain that are responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory. It damages various body systems. It shatters families, relationships and neighborhoods. And it often starts with prescription drugs prescribed for specific pain.

In addition to the work being done by mothers and fathers, police forces, judges, politicians and communities to combat this crisis, every individual who has access to opioid pills needs to monitor, lock up and dispose of medication properly to ensure that an unintended deal doesn’t go down on your watch … and unexpected consequences don’t turn deadly.

Take Responsibility