Researchers at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published an online article in JAMA where they analyzed the trends of opioids’ consumption in the USA during the past decade. Their analysis is based on data from the QuintilesIMS Transactional Data warehouse, which stores the approximate quantity of opioids’ prescriptions by surveying 50,000 US pharmacies; they examined data form 2006 to 2015 at the county, regional and national levels.
“Annual opioid rates increased from 72 to 81.2 per 100 persons from 200 to 2010, were continuous from 2010, were continuous from 2010 to 2012, and then decreased by 13% to 70.6 per 100 persons from 2102 to 2105.” The US consumption of opioids peaked in 2010 with 782 MME (morphine milligram equivalents) per capita and then slid down to 640 MME per capita in 2015.
“The average duration of opioid prescriptions increased, in part because of the continued increase in longer opioid prescriptions (greater or equal to 30 days) through 2012, followed by a stabilization of the rate, and a substantial decrease in shorter prescriptions (less than 30 days) after 2012.” The average prescribed supply increased from 13, 3 days in 2006 to 17.1 days in 2015.
The CDC report found many variations in the geographic distribution of the opiod prescription, which was significantly higher in rural counties with a large population of unemployed whites who also had diabetes and arthritis. At long last the CDC bureaucrats recognized that the dismal economic conditions of certain areas is a critical factor of the raging opioid epidemic; however they also found differing prescription patterns amongst physicians.
They claim that there are approximately 2 million addicted people in the USA, which provoked 33,091 deaths in 2105, half of them involving the use of prescribed drugs; the economic cost was estimated at 78.5 billion dollars.
Even though prescription of opioids is coming down, the number of deaths from drug overdosing keeps rising in the USA, in spite of all the concerted efforts of federal and state authorities to address this Public Health threat.
Perhaps it’s time to consider better care alternatives like Cannabis and its derivatives.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.