Addiction touches the lives of millions of Americans every day, from every walk of life. Data collected by the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse for 2018 show that in the United States, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths. Out of those deaths, prescription and illegal opioids accounted for 46,802 of those deaths – almost 70%. While overdose deaths from prescription drugs has declined nationally, the opioid epidemic is far from over. Deaths involving street opioids – heroin, fentanyl, etc. – continued to rise. Drug use statistics in North Carolina demonstrate that addiction continues to take a toll.
Drug Use in North Carolina
In North Carolina, the figures were higher than the national averages as follows:
- 79% of overdose deaths in 2018 were caused by prescription and illegal opioids.
- Prescription drug overdoses decreased to 489 from 659 in 2017.
- Drug overdoses from illegal opioids remained stable, with a total of 1,891 deaths.
- The number of opioid prescriptions written in 2018 was 61.5 prescriptions for every 100 people compared to a national average of 51.4 prescriptions per 100 people.
These figures indicate that daily, in 2018, at least four people died state-wide from opioid overdoses. If you include other prescription and street drugs, the number of deaths was 2,259, or an average of 6 people dying every day. Furthermore, since 2015, there has been an average increase of 44% in drug overdose deaths in North Carolina. It’s important to note that this statistic involves deaths, but does not account for the number of people who struggle with opioid use disorder.
In 2019, a nationwide study was conducted to determine the number of counties that could be classified as “high-risk” for opioid abuse. In North Carolina, 41 of the 100 counties in the state were found to be “high-risk.” The study also discovered that North Carolina was one of the top states with a “high-risk” opioid problem.
“High-risk” for this study was defined as any county having more than 12.5 prescription and illegal opioid deaths, which is the national average, for every 100,000 people. Another qualifying factor for “high-risk” were countries that were lower than the national average of 9.7 people receiving MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) for opioid substance abuse disorders.
Drug Abuse Statistics for Buncombe County
Opioid use continues to impact every corner of Buncome County. Every day hundreds of people in Buncombe county struggle with opioid addiction and are at risk of overdose.
- There were 265 opioid overdose emergency room visits.
- Out of all opioid overdoses in the county, 79 people died from an overdose.
- Naloxone was administered 606 times to counteract opioid overdoses.
- More than 10 million prescriptions for opioid drugs were written in 2018.
- Nearly 50% of young adults who started taking prescription opioids now inject heroin.
- Most adult addicts in the county – over 90% – started using opioids before their 18th birthday.
- Almost 45% of adult opioid addicts began experimenting with drugs and alcohol before they turned 15.
- Most teens and young adults who abuse opioids initially got them from their family and friends.
What These Statistics Indicate About Drug Abuse in North Carolina
These statistics tell us that North Carolina has a serious opioid crisis. More people in the state abuse opioids than other types of drugs, or alcohol for that matter. One noticeable trend is more people are abusing street opioids rather than prescription drugs.
However, many people initially get hooked on opioids from taking prescription drugs, such as oxycontin or Vicodin. So, when their prescriptions run out, or their friends and family stop supplying them, and they can no longer get prescription drugs, they turn to street drugs. These drugs mimic the same effects as methamphetamine (crystal meth) and heroin. Additionally, if the person does not have health insurance, opioid prescriptions can become costly. So, as a result, they seek out cheaper alternatives, which end up being street drugs.
Fortunately, there is hope. By entering into a qualified treatment program you can overcome opioid addiction and live a meaningful life in recovery.
Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction
The longer you take prescription drugs, the higher the likelihood you will develop a dependence on the drugs. As such, your dependence could lead to abuse and eventual addiction. Some of the more common signs that could indicate substance abuse and addiction are:
- Needing larger doses to achieve the desired effects.
- Experiencing more severe withdrawal symptoms when the drugs wear off.
- Feeling like you need the drugs just to function.
- The inability to stop using the drugs.
- Panic and anxiety when your prescription runs out and will not be renewed.
- Turning to street drugs to supplement your prescription drug usage.
- Refusing to admit you have a substance abuse problem.
- Lying to friends and family about your drug use.
- Stealing money and drugs from friends and family.
- Isolating yourself away from friends and family.
- Associating with other individuals who use and abuse drugs.
Drug Abuse Rehab in Asheville, NC
When you reach the point you want help with your prescription or street drug abuse, Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, is here to provide assistance. We offer a wide range of custom-tailored treatment options to help build a solid foundation to help you achieve long-term sobriety.
To learn more about our drug abuse rehab programs, please feel free to call us at 866-350-5622 or contact us today!