The often devastating misuse of prescription opioids has slowly caught the media and public’s attention in recent years. It is estimated that opioid addiction affected nearly 2.5 million adults in the U.S. in 2014. Some estimates suggest more than 44,000 drug overdose-related deaths occurred in 2013 and nearly one-third of those deaths were attributed to prescription opioids. Furthermore, prescription opioid abuse can often lead to heroin use (and eventual addiction) when addicts can no longer get prescription medication and/or they move on to cheaper, easily accessible and stronger heroin.
Tragically, an estimated 40 people die every day from opioid drug overdoses.
The University of Minnesota is doing its part to take on this public health crisis and recently hosted Pain. Pill. Problem., an all-day conference that examined the many facets of Minnesota’s issues with opiate abuse.