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The US Opioid Epidemic — A War of a Different Kind

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  • Americans consume 99 percent of the hydrocodone sold worldwide and 81 percent of all oxycodone — approximately 30 times more than medically necessary for the population size of the U.S.
  • Between 2002 and 2015, opioids killed an estimated 202,600 Americans
  • Overdose cases increased by more than 30 percent across the U.S. between July 2016 and September 2017. In the Midwest region, overdose cases rose by 70 percent and overdose mortality by 14 percent
  • Preliminary data for 2016 reveals the death toll from drug overdoses may be as high as 65,000, exceeding both the AIDS epidemic at its peak and the death toll of the Vietnam War in its entirety
  • The opioid epidemic has resulted in lowered life expectancy for both men and women in the U.S. for the second year in a row

By Dr. Mercola

The opioid epidemic — which between 2002 and 2015 alone claimed an estimated 202,600 Americans’ lives — shows absolutely no signs of leveling off or declining. On the contrary, recent statistics suggest the death toll is still trending upward, with more and more people abusing these powerful narcotics. The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®).


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