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Prescription Nation: Addressing America's Drug Epidemic

  • Prescription opioid overdose kills 52 people every day. In 2014, nearly 19,000 people died as a result of prescription opioid overdose. It is the most fatal drug crisis in U.S. history.

    This new NSC white paper evaluates each state's progress  in fighting this epidemic, based on six key indicators:

    • Mandatory prescriber education
    • Opioid prescribing guidelines
    • Eliminating pill mills
    • Prescription drug monitoring programs
    • Increased access to Naloxone
    • Availability of opioid use disorder treatment


    These highly addictive drugs are overprescribed, and they are a gateway drug to heroin. Just look at these statistics:

    • More than 259 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2012
    • Nearly 2 million Americans are addicted to opioid painkillers
    • The U.S. makes up 4.6% of the world's population but consumes 81% of the world's supply of oxycodone
    • 4.3 million adolescents and adults reported non-medical use of prescription opioids in 2014
    • Four out of five heroin users started on prescription opioids

    Only a few states have made significant progress in fighting this epidemic; others have much more to do. The report offers four key actions states can take to have immediate and sustained impact, and offers a roadmap for strengthening laws and regulations.

    NSC will assist states with implementation of these evidence-based strategies, which can save thousands of lives every year.

    Download the White Paper

Progress Tracker

Twenty-seven states are failing in the fight against prescription opioid abuse.

Check the Progress
  • Community Action Kit

    Meet survivors and find resources to mobilize your community in this free NSC Prescription Drug Community Action Kit.

    Get the Kit

National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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