America's Opioid Crisis

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Opioid Epidemic

  • Nationally, each year 17,000 people die from painkiller overdoses.
  • 68% of people who abuse prescription painkillers get them from a friend or relative.
  • More than ½ of teens said it was easy to get medications from a parent’s medicine cabinet.
  • About 1-in-5 college students have abused prescription stimulants.
  • 80% of the sampled streams and rivers in the U.S. contain small amounts of prescription medications.

The nation’s drug epidemic kills someone in Colorado about every 9 hours and 36 minutes.

  • Nearly 224,000 Coloradans misuse prescription drugs each year.
  • Each year, painkiller overdoses result in 300 deaths in Colorado
  • Treatment admissions for Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Meperidine, Methadone, and Fentanyl nearly tripled between 2004 and 2012.
  • From 2011 to 2013, Coloradan’s made an average to 7600 visits per year to emergency department due to drug overdoses; 86 percent of those trips were related to prescription painkiller overdosesThe Centers for Disease


Control and Prevention (CDC) call prescription drug overdose deaths one of the 4 most serious epidemics facing the nation. As recently as 2010-20111, Colorado ranked #2 in the nation among young adults ages 12-24 for self-admitted, non-meal use of prescription painkillers.

In February 2015, the Colorado Consortium for prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, in conjunction with Webb Strategic Communication and Zeto Creative, launched a statewide campaign called TAKE MEDS SERIOUSLY.

The state tracks opioid prescriptions, but doctors aren’t required to check the database. To limit prescription opioid abuse and so-called doctor shopping, studies show one of the most effective tactics is a prescription-drug monitoring program or PDMP. Heroin deaths have increased by more than 500 percent since 2006.

CDC research shows that a person is significantly more likely to continue using prescription opioids if they are given more than 3 days’ supply on the first prescription.

This is the introduction to several articles regarding the Opioid Epidemic in Colorado and how Clinix providers will be making changes in philosophy, practice, and alternative treatment approaches to pain.

Sources- Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention; John Frank – The Denver Post.


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