Pain Data and Statistics

A few facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Opioid Prescribing - United States

  • A total of 61,862,364 patients had at least one prescription for opioids filled or refilled in 2016. The total rate was 19.1 patients per 100 persons.
  • A total of 214,881,622 opioid prescriptions were dispensed by retail pharmacies in 2016. The total opioid prescribing rate was 66.5 per 100 persons.
  • Average number of opioid prescriptions was 3.5 per patient in 2016. Average days’ supply per prescription was 18.1 days in 2016.
  • 193,655,422,929 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) (i.e., a calculation of the total amount of opioids prescribed accounting for differences in drug type and strength) were prescribed in 2016.
  • The amount of opioids prescribed was 599.3 MME per person in 2016. Average MME per prescription was 901.2 in 2016. Average daily MME per prescription was 47.1 in 2016.
  • Between 2006 and 2016, the annual prescribing rate per 100 persons decreased from 72.4 to 66.5 for all opioids, an overall 8.1% reduction.
  • Between 2006 and 2016, the average daily MME per prescription decreased from 59.7 to 47.1 for all opioids, an overall 21.0% reduction.
  • Between 2006 and 2016, the average days of supply increased from 13.3 to 18.1 days per prescription, an overall 35.7% increase.

Prescription Opioid Overdose Deaths - United States

  • During 2015, a total of 15,281 persons in the United States died from drug overdoses involving prescription opioids (e.g., oxycodone, hydrocodone); the age-adjusted rate was 4.7 (per 100,000). Among males, the rate was 5.4; among females, it was 4.0.
  • The rate was 9.5 in persons aged 45-54 years and 8.4 in persons aged 35-44 years.
  • By race and ethnicity, the death rate was 6.4 in non-Hispanic whites, 2.6 in non-Hispanic blacks, and 1.8 in Hispanics.
  • By region, age-adjusted death rates from drug overdoses involving prescription opioids were 5.2 in the South, 4.5 per 100,000 in the Northeast and West, and 4.2 in the Midwest.
  • By urbanization, age-adjusted death rates from drug overdoses involving prescription opioids were 5.9 in noncore areas and 4.1 per 100,000 in large central metropolitan areas.
  • In 2015, a total of 12,923 persons in the U.S. died from unintentional drug overdoses involving prescription opioids; the age-adjusted rate was 4.0 per 100,000. A total of 985 persons died of drug overdoses of undetermined intent involving prescription opioids; the age-adjusted rate was 0.3.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes
United States 2017
https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/pubs/2017-cdc-drug-surveillance-report.pdf

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