Many people are unaware of the alarmingly high numbers of the population that are dying because of their addiction to pain pills. In 2010, there were approximately 16,651 cases of people overdosing on opioids, which was more than any other illicit drug. Of the 5.1 million pain reliever users in 2010, only one in six had a prescription from a doctor, meaning the majority of users were getting them illegally. Here is what the world needs to know about this rising global problem.
A Growing Epidemic
There is a growing, deadly epidemic among pain pill users. An estimated 8.9 percent of Americans (22.6 million) over the age of eleven have used illicit drugs. In 2008, poisoning was the top cause of injury deaths for the first time since 1980, which surpassed the number of car accident deaths in the United States for that same year. Also in 2008, opioid deaths accounted for fifteen thousand lives whereas cocaine deaths were around five thousand and heroin took the lives of three thousand.