MAY 22, 2018
BY: MIKE GARRINGER, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP
The last year has seen an increasingly bright spotlight shined on one of the nation’s most damaging and pernicious challenges: the struggle of many communities and individual citizens with opioid addiction. It seems that the nation is just now coming to grips with the depth and severity of the problem and the statistics on the subject are grim:
- In 2016, 116 people in the United States died from overdoses of opioids1
- One study2 found that opioid overdoses increased over 30% across 45 states between 2016 and 2017, with a 70% increase in the Midwest over that same timeframe, indicating that this problem is actually getting worse
- Between 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them3, resulting in about 80% of heroin users first getting addicted via prescribed opioids4.
- The estimated economic impact of this crisis is $78.5 billion a year5.
- And unfortunately, this is an issue that directly impacts young people: One study6 found that 3.6% of youth ages 12-17 had misused opioids in the past year, with that number climbing to 7.3% of those 18-25.