In 2016, one in five Americans received a prescription for opioids, a growing share for the first time in decades.
Today, that number has reached 20 percent, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
But the use of prescription opioids is rising even faster.
In fact, prescriptions for the most common painkiller, morphine, are up more than 500 percent in just the past five years.
A 2015 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly 4 million Americans have tried an opioid in the last 12 months, and about 3 million had prescriptions for opioids in the past year.
These drugs are highly addictive and can be deadly if taken too frequently.
To combat this rising trend, we’ve partnered with Dr. Dinesh D’Souza, a New York University professor of medicine, and our friends at the National Institutes of Health to analyze data on the painkiller use of over 300 million Americans.
This is the story of our investigation into how and why the most popular painkiller is causing a crisis.
What is the opioid crisis?
The opioid crisis is a growing epidemic, and we’ve been tracking the issue for more than 10 years.
In 2016 alone, there were more than 4.5 million opioid prescriptions filled in the U.S. There are about 2.4 million people in the United States who have died from opioid overdoses, according the Centers of Disease Control.
Many of these deaths are linked to opioids, but more often than not, the cause of the death is not identified.
The CDC’s opioid data show that the most commonly prescribed opioid in 2016 was oxycodone, a drug with high abuse potential, including misuse and overdose.
The average cost of a prescription was about $1,500, with the most expensive drugs costing $40,000 or more.
A 2016 study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that more than 50 percent of prescription painkillers sold in the country were being abused, and a 2014 study by Johns Hopkins found that prescription painkiller abuse was increasing.
There is no cure for opioids.
And the use and abuse of opioids has increased dramatically in the years since the opioid epidemic was first discovered.
In 2012, the opioid-related deaths in the US were less than 10 a day.
In 2015, there was an opioid overdose every two minutes.
Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in overdose deaths.
In addition to increased deaths, prescription opioids are the primary reason for more opioid prescriptions, according a recent survey by The Kaiser Family Foundation.
What are the main reasons for opioid use?
In 2016 in the states that saw the most opioid-involved deaths, almost half were for opioid-assisted therapy, according