Opioid addiction and opioid-related overdoses have steadily risen since the early 2000s, but have spiked since 2013. In 2016 alone, more than 53,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose—an average of 142 people every day. Men are twice as likely as women to die of an opioid overdose, and more than three times as likely to overdose on heroin.
In 2015, the top 20 physicians authorized a total of 19,507 opioid dependence treatment prescriptions. The most popular anti-opioid drug is a Buprenorphine Hydrochloride and Naloxone Hydrochloride blend, commonly known as Suboxone. Combined, the prescriptions of the top 20 physicians cost more than $5.5 million. Additionally, the top 20 physicians provided a combined average of more than 452,000 days’ worth of anti-opioid drugs for more than 3,000 patients.
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