Prescription opioid abuse is now labeled an "epidemic" by both the Center for Disease Control and the White House.

Widespread availability of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations is an urgent public health priority


Overdose deaths from prescription opioid pain relievers have more than tripled since 20011


National Overdose Deaths—Number of Deaths from Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers. The figure above is a bar chart showing the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers from 2001 to 2014. The chart is overlayed by a line graph showing the number of deaths by females and males. From 2001 to 2014 there was a 3.4-fold increase in the total number of deaths.1


Deaths due to drug overdose is a widespread problem in the US2



Non-oral abuse such as crushing, inhaling, and injecting is widespread and can lead to more serious outcomes4

Inhaling/snorting prescription opioids is one of the strongest predictors of initiating heroin use5

Non-oral abuse is more often linked to overdose and death, and, in the case of intravenous abuse, is associated with a higher risk for HIV infection as well as Hepatitis6-8


1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overdose death rates. National Institutes of Health website. Revised December 2015. Accessed November 15, 2016.
2. Hedegaard H. From health to harm: the burden of drug poisoning in the US. Presented at: 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics; August 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed December 5, 2016.
3. National Center for Health Statistics. Number and age-adjusted rates of drug-poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics and heroin: United States, 1999-2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed December 19, 2016.
4. Kraus A, Wening K, Schwier S, Stahlberg HJ, Galia E, Sokolowska M. Expanding hot-melt extrusion based abuse-deterrent formulation technology from extended release (ER) to immediate release (IR) application. Morristown, NJ: Grünenthal USA, Inc.;2016;1-6.
5. Carlson RG, Nahhas RW, Martins SS, Daniulaityte R. Predictors of transition to heroin use among initially non-opioid dependent illicit pharmaceutical opioid users: a natural history study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;160:127-134.
6. Katz N, Dart RC, Bailey E, Trudeau J, Osgood E, Paillard F. Tampering with prescription opioids: nature and extent of the problem, health consequences, and solutions. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2011;37(4):205-217.
7. Degenhardt L, Bucello C, Mathers B, et al. Mortality among regular or dependent users of heroin and other opioids: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Addiction. 2011;106(1):32-51.
8. Belani H, Chorba T, Fletcher F, et al; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Integrated Prevention Services for HIV Infection, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis for Persons Who Use Drugs Illicitly: Summary Guidance From CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):61(RR05);1-40. Updated November 9, 2012. Accessed December 16, 2016.