Facts and Statistics
Oxycodone is a potent prescription opioid, most commonly used to treat moderate or severe pain. Because this specific medication has such a high potential for abuse, it is generally only prescribed to be taken short-term – for several weeks, at most. Both oxycodone extended-release capsules and extended-release tablets are prescribed to patients who have had little success with less potent painkillers, and who require pain relief around-the-clock. It is important to note that even when this medication is taken exactly as prescribed by a medical professional, it can still lead to physical and psychological dependence. Over the course of the past two decades, rates of oxycodone abuse and addiction have been on the rise throughout the US. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, of the 20.5 million Americans over the age of 12 who suffered from a diagnosed substance abuse disorder in the year 2015, over 2 million suffered from prescription painkiller addiction. Opioid addiction has been – and is currently – leading the national drug overdose epidemic. During the same year, there were a total of 52,404 lethal drug-related overdoses throughout the country – of these overdoses, 20,101 were directly linked to prescription opioids like oxycodone. In 2012 there were over 259 million opioid painkiller prescriptions written throughout the country. This is more than enough to allot every American citizen their own bottle of painkillers.