Relationship between nonmedical prescription-Opioid use and Heroin use

The nonmedical use of prescription opioids is a major public health issue in the United States, both because of the overall high prevalence and because of marked increases in associated morbidity and mortality. In 2014, a total of 10.3 million persons reported using prescription opioids nonmedically (i.e., using medications that were not prescribed for them or were taken only for the experience or feeling that they caused). Emergency department visits involving misuse or abuse of prescription opioids increased 153% between 2004 and 2011, and admissions to substance-abuse treatment programs linked to prescription opioids more than quadrupled between 2002 and 2012.

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