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How often are opioids prescribed in the US?

The amount of opioid prescriptions in the US peaked in 2012 at more than 255 million and a prescribing rate of 81.3 prescriptions per 100 persons. The rates have decreased since, but despite these reductions, the amount of opioids prescribed remains high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2016, the total number of prescriptions dispensed in the US was more than 214 million, with a prescribing rate of 66.5 prescriptions per 100 persons. The generous prescribing habits of clinicians is particularly important, as CDC data also show that 40 percent of all US opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.