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Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Anita Gupta, Paul J. Christo

The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Volume 5, Issue 2, February 2009, p132-134

Opioids are one of the most frequently abused drugs. The number of people abusing prescription drugs, including opioids, more than doubled, from 7.8 million in 1992 to 15.1 million in 2003. In a 2006 survey of drug use in the United States, it was estimated that 5.2 million persons abused pain relievers, a 32% increase from the 4.7 million reported in 2005. Opioid abuse imposes substantial costs on society and payers, as well as the users themselves.  In 2002, prescription opioids accounted for 18.9% of the drugs implicated in multiple-drug–related deaths.

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