Epidemiology

Opioid abuse and overdose is a growing problem worldwide. In the US, from 1991 to 2015 the number of opioid-related deaths quadrupled.[1] In 2011, there were more than 5 million drug-related emergency department visits in the US; about one half of these (2.5 million visits) were attributed to drug misuse or abuse.[2] The sharp increase in prescription opioid overdoses since the late 1990s may be due in part to more aggressive pain management strategies.[3]

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