What are the Most Commonly Abused Opiates?

Commonly Abused OpiatesThe most commonly abused opiates are legally obtained, in many cases.  For instance, the most widely abused legal drugs in the US today are prescription painkillers, alcohol, tobacco, and over-the-counter drugs.   Currently, the US is experiencing an epidemic of heroin addictions and overdoses.  Heroin is the most widely abused illicit opiate on the market and is becoming the go-to drug for many people who are addicted to expensive prescription opiates.

Statistics on the Commonly Abused Opiates in the US

The impact of opiate addiction in the United States has reached an unprecedented level today.  It’s hard to know where to begin determining how this problem got out of control so rapidly.  However, regardless of the reasons for this epidemic of opiate addictions, the statistics are frightening.  For instance:

  • More than 21.5 million Americans are substance abusers
  • There were over 47,055 drug overdose cases admitted to ERs in one year alone
  • Drug overdoses have increased by 137% since the year 2000
  • More than 7 million people admit using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons
  • Over 700,000 people in the US need treatment for heroin addiction

The above statistics reveal nothing about the drug-related crime, deaths, and financial impacts nationwide.  To get a more detailed perspective, we look at the following facts:

  • A survey shows that 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates admitted to committing their crimes to obtain money for drugs.
  • Of the 1,488,707 arrests in 2015 for drug-related crimes, 83.9% were for possession of controlled substances.  Also, 16.1% were fro manufacturing or sales of a drug.
  • Drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse cost the nation more than $700 billion annually.  This includes revenues lost due to lost work productivity, law enforcement, and health care.
  • Nationwide, 44,000 died from drug overdose in 2013.
  • 52% of the overdose deaths in 2013 were due to prescription drugs.
  • From 2009 to 2013, overdose deaths increased in 26 states.

Furthermore, the CDC has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic in the United States.  In fact, overdose deaths related to prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999.  This increase seems to coincide with the increased sales of prescription opiates.

Names of Opiates Most Often Abused

Opiates and opioids are widely prescribed today to treat a variety of illnesses and pain.  When used according to directions they can help improve a person’s quality of life.  However, when taken over a prolonged period, the person can become dependent on the drug.  If dosing directions are altered, addiction can occur.  Furthermore, people use these drugs for the purpose of getting high and become addicted.  When they can’t obtain more of the drug, they often switch to the cheaper alternative which is heroin.

The most commonly abused opiates or opioids prescribed today include, but are not limited to:

  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine

When a person develops a dependency or addiction to the above drugs, they go to any lengths to obtain more.  They will lie, cheat, steal, resort to prostitution, “doctor-shop,” or buy the drugs illicitly from street dealers.  For these individuals, it is imperative that they seek professional help before they become one of the overdose statistics.

If you need help for your addiction to one of these commonly abused opiates, please call our toll-free number today.

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