- There's a long history of opioid addiction in the United States
- The FDA and CDC have started taking steps to address the opioid abuse epidemic
(CNN)The abuse of opioids, including prescription painkillers and drugs like heroin, is something the United States has struggled with since before the 1900s. But it's a problem that keeps coming back.
Early 1900s: Morphine and the creation of pain management
1970s, '80s and early '90s: A change in thought
1996: The birth of OxyContin
2001: A new standard
August 2010: From pills to heroin
2011: 'If I had an inkling of what I know now ... '
March 2016: 'We know of no other medication ... that kills patients so frequently'
- Most trials have lasted six weeks or less, and the few that have been longer had "consistently poor results." In fact, several studies have showed that use of opioids for chronic pain may actually worsen pain and functioning, possibly by increasing pain perception.
- Opioid dependence may be as high as 26% for patients using opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
- One out of every 550 patients started on opioid therapy died of opioid-related causes a median of 2.6 years after their first opioid prescription.