• More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.
• Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled.2
• From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
• Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled,2 yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.
• Deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone—have also quadrupled since 1999.
IMS Health, National Prescription Audit (NPATM). Cited in internal document: Preliminary Update on Opioid Pain Reliever (OPR) Prescription Rates Nationally and by State: 2010-2013.
Providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions in 2013—with wide variation across states. This is enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.
Ossiander EM. Using textual cause-of-death data to study drug poisoning deaths. Am J Epidemiol 2014 Apr 1;179(7):884-94.
The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:
Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®)
Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®)
Opioids are NOT Evidence-Based, Cost-Effective, or Safe
Schofferman & Mazanec (2008). Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with opioid analgesics. The Spine Journal 8(1): 185-194
A recent review found 59% of patients treated with opioids for less than 3 months experienced an adverse effect. Adverse effects were even more common with treatment longer than 3 months, occurring in 73% to 90% of patients, and up to one-third of patients discontinued treatment because of side effects.
Constipation occurs as a result of decreased peristaltic propulsive contractions, increased small and large bowel tone, and decreased biliary, pancreatic, and intestinal secretions.
“Clinically, the most common problem in men is androgen deficiency because of suppression of pulsatile gonadotropoin-releasing hormone by the hypothalamus which presents as low libido, erectile difficulties, low energy, easy fatigue, and depressed mood.”
“In women, there may also be decreased libido and changes in menstrual cycle.”
“There may also be instances of osteoporosis, and broader hypothalamic-pituitary suppression.”
“It should be noted that the withdrawal rates reported in RCTs of opioids were generally high (20%–40%) because of side effects.”
“Among the remaining patients who are able to tolerate opioids, one-third are excellent responders, one-third fair responders, and one-third non-responders.”
If 40% withdrawal from studies because of adverse effects and a remaining 2/3 receive little or no relief then ALL THESE SIDE EFFECTS for temporary pain relief in ONLY 20% of patients! PLUS they are NOT better, they are just numb …. and often addicted…. and have significantly higher mortality rates!
“Studies did not provide evidence for long-term use of muscle relaxants in CLBP.”
“Muscle relaxants demonstrated more CNS side effects compared with placebo in nearly all trials.”
“Sudden discontinued chronic use of benzodiazepines is associated with delirium tremens, whereas abruptly discontinuing baclofen may result in seizures.”