According to United Nations data, opiate use is present in 2% of the American population and is growing by 10% each year.
The proportion of opiate users is lower in Europe at 0.67%.
Worldwide, 5.1 million people use opiates.
Returning to the U.S., the weight of opioid analgesics in overdose deaths is striking (1).
In 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 15,000 deaths due to opioid painkiller overdoses. That number represents nearly half of all opiate overdose deaths (33,091) and nearly a third of drug overdose deaths (50,000).
Worldwide, opiate abuse causes 100,000 deaths by overdose every year, making it the leading cause of accidental death (2).
Opiate overdoses kill by suppressing the central nervous and respiratory systems.
(1) Le Monde science et techno, 24 April 2017
(2) Datamonitor 2015