Special Feature Alabama Statistics about Opioids IMAGE Aug 18

What You Should Know about Opioids

Alabama Statistics about Opioids:

  • The number of overdose deaths(OD) climbed by 82% from 2006 to 2014 (and this is with little consistency around ER’s not reporting on OD deaths)
  • In 2016, there were 756 drug-related deaths in Alabama, the majority of which were opioid related
  • In 2016, Alabama doctors wrote 121 prescriptions per every 100 persons, which is equivalent to 1.2 prescriptions for every man, woman and child in our state.
  • Governor Kay Ivey established the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council in 2017. The Council is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan to abate the Opioid crisis in Alabama.

Opioid Abuse among Teens:

  • 23% of students who had used opioids less than 40 times reported using heroin
  • 7% of those who use heroin admitted to also having used prescription opioids non-medically
  • Half the teenage Medicaid patients in Alabama prescribed opioids in 2016 got them from dentists or oral surgeons
  • About 1 in 6 patients between age 13-18 on Medicaid received an opioid from a provider in 2016

Common Signs of Opioid Misuse in Teens:

  • Negative changes in grades
  • Skipping classes or school
  • Dropping longtime friends
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Changes in appearance
  • Changes in general behavior, including sleeping and eating habits

Things parents can do to help teens avoid risks:

  • Take inventory of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs you have at home. Properly destroy unused or outdated medicine
  • Monitor and safeguard any and all prescription drugs that a child is currently taking.
  • Role model care and careful use (not misuse) of any and all prescription drugs you use. Use opportunity to educate.
  • Openly discuss the risks of use and the importance of medical supervision and proper disposal.
  • Understand motives behind signs of use or misuse (i.e. weight loss, pain, grades) and speak compassionately first.
  • Be honest (come clean) if your child challenges your own use.
  • Discuss how avoidance of addictive substances is part of health consciousness

-Information provide by Addiction Prevention Coalition

100 Union Hill Drive, Suite 150

Birmingham, AL  35209


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