From 1999 to 2021, there were approximately 645,000 fatalities attributed to opioid overdoses, which encompassed both prescription and illicit opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Prescription opioids for the management of moderate to severe pain, can also be utilized to address symptoms such as coughing and diarrhea, said the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Additionally, opioids have the potential to induce feelings of profound relaxation and euphoria, hence their occasional misuse for non-medical purposes.

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The number of overdose deaths involving opioids surpassed 80,000 in 2021, marking a tenfold increase compared to the number of opioid-related fatalities in 1999.

Nationally, the opioid dispensing rate is at 43.3 per 100 people while Alabama’s rate is 80.4 per 100 people, said the CDC. Alabama leads the United States in opioid dispensing rates.

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