92 Million Americans Prescribed Opioids in 2015

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that approximately 38% of U.S. adults – or 92 million people - were prescribed an opioid in 2015. People aged 18–49 years, men, and college graduates were less likely to have been prescribed opioids than those who were older, female, or not college graduates. About 5% of U.S. adults were misusing opioids by not following a doctor's orders, such as not following directions or using them without a prescription. 1% of adults, or about 1.9 million Americans, had an opioid use disorder. Opioid misuse and use disorders were more common among people with lower family incomes, without health insurance, or without jobs. About 64% of the survey participants who had misused opioids said they did so most recently to relieve pain, and about 41% said they obtained the drugs from family or friends. The findings are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.