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Ask An Expert - Is Opioid Misuse on the Rise?

Posted 1/26/11 (Wed)

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Is Opioid Misuse on the Rise?

Prescription drug abuse is trending up dramatically in North Dakota. Between 1998 and 2008, there was a 400 percent increase in the number of substance abuse treatment admissions associated with the abuse of opioid pain relievers. (SAMSHA, “Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involving Abuse of Pain Relievers: 1998 and 2008.”) The estimated number of emergency room visits for non-medical use of opioid analgesics increased 111 percent between 2004 and 2008. (CDC, “Emergency Department Visits Involving Non-medical Use of Selected Prescription Drugs: United States 2004 – 2008”.) And according to a 2008 report, more than 13 percent of Americans age 12 and older have used a prescription pain reliever non-medically at least once in their lifetime. This is not just a national issue but this trend is very true for North Dakota.  Prescription drug abuse is North Dakota’s new drug epidemic.


Kurt Snyder
Executive Director
Heartview Foundation


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