Alcohol & Drug Use
Did You Know? is a weekly feature from the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support to inform your prevention activities. We invite you to read, share, and take action!
View the Current Did You Know?
- Prescriptions for naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, doubled from 2017 to 2018—according to the latest Vital Signs report.
- Despite progress, only 1 naloxone prescription is dispensed for every 70 high-dose opioid prescriptions; taking high-dose opioids increases the risk for overdose.
- States and communities can work with healthcare providers to expand naloxone access for at-risk patients and promote the benefits of prescribing, dispensing, and carrying naloxone pdf icon[PDF-2.5MB].
- Nearly 30 years of research shows that comprehensive syringe services programspdf icon[PDF-472KB] reduce costs, prevent diseases, and save lives.
- People who use syringe services programs are five times more likely to enter drug treatment and three times more likely to stop injecting drugs.
- Health departments and policymakers can learn more about the safety and effectiveness, legality, and implementation of syringe services programs to help reduce the toll of opioids and infectious diseases in their communities.
- More than half of the 4.2 million Americans who misused prescription opioids during 2012‒2014 were binge drinkers
- Drinking alcohol pdf icon[PDF-867KB] while using opioids increases the risk of overdose and death.
- Widespread use of effective community-based strategies for preventing binge drinking—such as regulating the number of places that sell alcohol in any given neighborhood—could reduce opioid misuse and overdoses involving alcohol.
- In 2016, 48.5 million Americans used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugspdf icon [PDF-6.2MB].
- Around 66% of the more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
- States can use data on nonfatal overdoses and overdose deaths to inform their prevention activities, and healthcare providers can take CDC’s online training on safer prescribing practices.
- Opioid overdose visits to the emergency department increased by 30% from July 2016 to September 2017, according to the latest Vital Signs report.
- People who have had one overdose are more likely to have another, so being seen in an emergency department presents an opportunity to prevent repeat overdose and deathexternal icon.
- Detecting trends of this fast-moving epidemic and developing a coordinated response can help communities better prevent opioid overdoses and death.
- Opioid prescribing remains high overall in the United States but varies from county to county, suggesting that people receive different care depending on where they live, according to this month’s Vital Signs.
- Too many people get opioid prescriptions for too many days at too high a dose pdf icon[PDF-4.7MB], which puts them at risk for addiction and overdose.
- Healthcare providers can use CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and related resources to ensure appropriate prescribing.
- Many of public health’s biggest successes rely heavily on law.
- Legal interventions play a vital role in addressing emerging public health threats, such as healthcare quality, emergency preparedness, and prescription drug overdoses.
- CDC’s Public Health Law Program can provide training, guidance and information on these topics and others.
- Sales of—and deaths from—prescription opioids have nearly quadrupled in the United States since 1999.
- At least 26 states require prescribers to check prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)external icon—electronic systems that track dispensing of controlled substances—before writing an opioid prescription.
- You can learn how states are using PDMPs, along with other strategies to improve public health, in CDC’s Prevention Status Reports.
Did You Know? information and web links are current as of their publication date. They may become outdated over time.