Excessive prescribing of opioids is a practice that does not only affect the individuals who the prescription was intended for, but also nonmedical opioid users, adolescents, and children. In 2016, approximately 66.5 opioid prescriptions were written for every 100 Americans
A study of 7,374 high school seniors found that 12.9% had used opioids recreationally and that 80% of these nonmedical users originated from previous prescriptions that were not their own, such as a grandparent’s or a friend’s pain medication.
Data from 1997 to 2012 showed the opioid crisis also affects children. The largest increase in opioid overdose hospitalization amongst children and adolescence occurred in children aged 1-4, a 205% increase.