Opiate Pain Therapy, Tolerance and Strategies

What prompted the increase in opiate prescribing over the past 50 years, why do we develop a tolerance to opiates, and what are some solutions to the situation?
·       1991 to 2009, prescriptions for opiate pain medications increased almost threefold, to over 200 million per year.

·       Prescriptions for opiate pain medications nearly doubled, from 11% of all prescriptions in 2000 to 19% of all prescriptions prescribed in 2010.

·       The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world's population; however, consumes 80 percent of its opiates.

·       Prescription opiate medications were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined.

·       Deaths from unintentional drug overdoses have risen fivefold since 1990.

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