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Drug poisoning is now the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in the United States. Every day, more than 100 people die from opioid drugs – 37,814 people every year – and many of these overdoses are from prescription opioid medicine.
Many adults prescribed opioids by doctors and subsequently become addicted or
move from pills to heroin. Seventy percent of people who have abused prescription painkillers reported getting them from friends or relatives. Most people don't even know that
sharing opioids is a felony.
People who take opioid painkillers for too long and in doses too large are more at risk of addiction and more likely to die of drug poisoning. The numbers are staggering. A survey by the Substance Abuse and Medical Health Services Administration says there are
4.3 million nonmedical users of painkillers. Nearly 2 million people have painkiller substance use disorders.
"Painkillers don't kill pain. They kill people," says Dr. Don Teater. People think taking opioids is the best way to treat pain. But the reality is other non-addictive medicines are just as effective, including many over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Prescribed to Death Memorial is headed to Arkansas.
National Safety Council is here to provide answers for families, resources for employers and prescribers, and information to help keep you safe at home and in your community:
Opioid Drugs include both prescription and illicit drugs. Like heroin, opioid painkillers come from the poppy plant.
Receive email updates on preventing prescription drug misuse and overdose. Learn how you can join this initiative to save lives.
We’re losing far too many people to the opioid epidemic. Honor your lost loved one by adding their name to this map.
Meet survivors and find resources to mobilize your community in this free NSC Prescription Drug Community Action Kit.
America’s most fatally abused drug is legal and sitting in the medicine cabinet. Understand the risks and how to prevent deaths and injuries associated with prescription drug abuse.
Employee use of prescription painkillers threatens employees' safety and your bottom line.