The opioid epidemic is a nationwide public health crisis characterized by the excessive use and abuse of opioid drugs. It has devastating consequences, including addiction, overdose, and fatalities. Key statistics reveal the gravity of the situation:
- In 2020, over 69,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid-related overdoses.
- Opioid addiction often starts innocently with prescription painkillers, leading to the use of illicit drugs like heroin.
- Opioid misuse affects people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, making it a widespread problem.