Opiates have been used to manage pain for centuries and are often perceived as the pillar of pharmacological pain management, with approximately 3% – 4% of the adult U.S. population being prescribed long-term therapy.
In 2016, 19.1 per 100 persons received one or more opioid prescriptions, with the average patient receiving 3.5 prescriptions.
At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescribed opioid medication, with nearly 80% of those deaths considered accidental or unintentional. It is estimated that chronic opioid use costs up to $635 billion annually in medical treatment and loss of productivity.
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