A new study published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports examined Ohio Health Department records from 2010 to 2017 and found that white men between the ages of 30 and 39 were most at risk of fatal overdoses. The epidemic is disproportionately affecting white men over white women in all age categories, the study found.
Researchers believe the opiate epidemic began with a surge in legal prescription painkillers. Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from chronic pain that is so severe that it affects their daily activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study also reported individuals with relatives who suffered substance abuse disorders are 10 times more likely to suffer from substance abuse.
The latest phase in this crises is the rise of Fentanyl in the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It is often added to heroin or other illicit drugs. Because of its potency, the risk of a fatal overdose is much higher.
Dr. Carly Willeford
1 in 25 adults has a serious mental illness in a given year. That adds up to 10.4 million people, or 4.2% of U.S. adults 18 or older.