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Understanding the Opioid Epidemic

Story at-a-glance -

  • “Understanding the Opioid Epidemic” is an hourlong PBS documentary designed to highlight some of the issues surrounding the use and abuse of prescription opioid medications in the U.S.
  • The opioid crisis has become a social issue that transcends all geographic and socioeconomic boundaries — affecting people of every age, gender and ethnicity at alarming rates
  • Prescription opioids cost the U.S. at least $75 billion annually and more than 11 million Americans are believed to have abused these medications during 2016
  • According to the CDC, on average 115 Americans die of an opioid overdose every day
  • While you may not think opioid addiction can happen to you, these potent painkillers are routinely prescribed for the treatment of bodily pain related to accidents, car crashes, sports injuries and surgeries — experiences that are common to people everywhere

By Dr. Mercola

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 Americans, on average, die of an opioid overdose every day. The increasing use of opioid painkillers and the rampant rates of addiction to them have become a social issue that transcends all geographic and socioeconomic boundaries.


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