What is an Opioid? These are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Medically, they are primarily used for pain relief, including anesthesia. Opioids are also frequently used non-medically for their euphoric effects or to prevent withdrawal.
What is the Opioid Crisis? The general trend of overuse of Opioids, primarily, in the United States. It began in the 1990’s and has escalated in recent years with a 2.3x increase in overdoses from 2006-2017 (even higher in 2018). It’s particularly affecting young women and communities within the United States. It’s prompted a significant response from the NIH with the HEAL Initiative starting in 2018.
Though the NIH’s HEAL Initiative started in 2018, this decades old problem has been responded to by doctors in the United States since 2012 (in an effort for the Obama Administration to curb the effects quickly). There’s no doubt there must have been some amazing work, on a national basis, to reduce Opioid prescriptions by a huge 25% between 2012 and 2017.
Meanwhile, Opioid-referenced research, since 2012, has increased 9% (at a time when Mental Health research decreased 75% overall potentially due to the Replication Crisis), but growth flat-lined after 2014. Unfortunately, overdoses…spiked to 85% from 2012 to 2017 (and even higher in 2018) based on data from the CDC. There isn’t any in-house knowledge here to determine what’s causing the significant overdose spike, but if you know the why’s and how’s of this trend, please contact us. This is important and should be analyzed further.
The insight here is that society is responding to a crisis and trying getting ahead of the curve before things get worse than they are. Though, it’s still not enough…
Dataset available here.