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Prescription Opioids and Heroin

Welcome to an exploration of the intricate relationship between prescription opioids and heroin, two substances with strikingly similar effects. As we delve into the depths of this crisis, it becomes clear that the misuse of prescription opioids often serves as a gateway to heroin use, highlighting the urgent need for intervention and awareness. From the alarming statistics depicting the devastating toll of opioid-related deaths to the profound impact of opioid use disorder on millions worldwide, we confront the stark realities of this epidemic.

"The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees and manages all medication disbursement in the United States. * The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) of 1906 was the first federal law to establish the FDA as the main regulatory body for all medications in the United States." 

"Prescription opioid pain medicines such as OxyContin® and Vicodin® have effects similar to heroin. Research suggests that misuse of these drugs may open the door to heroin use. Data from 2011 showed that an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids switch to heroin1-3 and about 80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids."

"August: On August 13, FDA approved OxyContin for certain pediatric patients for pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate." (2015)

"Drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids rose from 3,442 in 1999 to 17,029 in 2017. From 2017 to 2019, the number of deaths declined to 14,139. This was followed by a slight increase in 2020, with 16,416 reported deaths. In 2021, the number of reported deaths involving prescription opioids totaled 16,706."

"Opioid use disorder is the chronic use of opioids that causes clinically significant distress or impairment. Opioid use disorders affect over 16 million people worldwide, over 2.1 million in the United States, and there are over 120,000 deaths worldwide annually attributed to opioids."

"Starting nearly three decades ago, doctors massively overprescribed opioid painkillers, contributing to the country’s ongoing and spiraling overdose emergency. Over the last 10 years, efforts to reform prescribing practices have succeeded in slashing the dispensing of the drugs."

No Pain Medication!

*Prescription Opioids*
* Prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin have effects similar to heroin.
* Research suggests that misuse of prescription opioids may lead to heroin use.
* Data from 2011 showed that an estimated 4 to 6 percent of individuals who misuse prescription opioids switch to heroin.

*Opioid Epidemic*
* The number of deaths involving prescription opioids rose from 3,442 in 1999 to 17,029 in 2017.
* From 2017 to 2019, the number of deaths declined to 14,139, but increased slightly in 2020 to 16,416.
* In 2021, the number of reported deaths involving prescription opioids totaled 16,706.
* The opioid epidemic is a global issue, with over 120,000 deaths worldwide attributed to opioids annually.

*Opioid Use Disorder*
* Opioid use disorder is the chronic use of opioids that causes clinically significant distress or impairment.
* Opioid use disorders affect over 16 million people worldwide, with over 2.1 million cases in the United States.

*Statistics*
* According to the FDA, drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids rose from 3,442 in 1999 to 17,029 in 2017.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2020, there were over 16,416 reported deaths involving prescription opioids.

*Studies*
* A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that starting nearly three decades ago, doctors massively overprescribed opioid painkillers, contributing to the country's ongoing and spiraling overdose emergency.
* Another study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that efforts to reform prescribing practices have succeeded in slashing the dispensing of opioid painkillers.

*Video*
* The video "Addicted and left behind: the opioid epidemic killing African Americans!" discusses the impact of the opioid epidemic on African American communities.

*Other Information*
* Xylazine is a drug that has been linked to overdoses and fatalities.
* Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that has been responsible for many overdose deaths.
* Crystal methamphetamine is a dangerous and addictive drug that can lead to serious health problems.

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