prescription opioid-related discharges per capita increased from 2.4 cases per 10,000 people in 2001 to 4.5 cases per 10,000 people in 2011, and hospital discharge rates across California increased by an average of 5.6 percent per year.
More than 32 million people abuse opioids worldwide, researchers stated. And in the United States, the number of deaths related to prescription opioid poisoning has increased 400 percent between 1999 and 2014, “and account for more deaths than heroin, cocaine and stimulant poisoning combined.”
A February 2016 study showed that daily doses of prescription opioids in North America increased from 2.4 billion per annum to 5.3 billion per annum between 2011 and 2013. Western and Central Europe saw daily doses of prescription opioids go from 0.5 billion to 1.6 billion during the same period. These regions composed 94.1 percent of the analgesic opioids examined in the two-year period. When Oceania was included, that percentage increased to 95.7.
The results from the UC Davis study were consistent with findings from other areas of the US, as well as from Canada and Australia, all of which showed a concentration of prescription opioid poisoning in rural areas.