The opioid crisis has wracked our country. This epidemic has touched all four corners of the United States and has left no part of our nation untouched. Like the rest of the country, the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago have been devastated by the disastrous affect opioids have had on the community at large, and on individuals and their families. The federal government and the State of Illinois has collected significant data that is nothing short of shocking. Between 1999-2014, the number of opioid overdose deaths tripled. In 2014 alone, 60.9% of all drug overdose deaths in America involved opioids. In the State of Illinois, overdose deaths involving opioids increased by 44% from 2013 to 2016. 80% of all overdoses fatalities in the State of Illinois in 2016 were related to opioids. Cook County and the City of Chicago have been particularly devastated due to the fact that this is the largest population center in Illinois. What does this mean?
There is no question that in a very short period of time opioid use and abuse has increased exponentially in America. From 1999 to the present the amount of opioid pain medication prescribed and consumed in the United States has quadrupled. Chicago has been flooded by opioid pain medications. Pill pushing doctors and complicit pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies have created a situation where patients who are prescribed these medications for legitimate medical conditions, become addicted and then are forced into a viscous cycle of abuse that often involves criminal behavior and ultimately death by overdose.
Some of the most common opioid medications include: