Date of Award
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Education
The United States is in an opioid crisis. Of all the opioids that are marketed in the United States the most popular is Oxycontin, containing the active ingredient oxycodone, the chemical equiv-alent of heroin which is more powerful than morphine. Along with heroin and fentanyl, Oxy-contin has become one of the great killers of this era. It is estimated that in 2016 there were over 20,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, as opposed to 12,990 over-dose deaths related to heroin in 2015. The state of West Virginia has been the one that has suf-fered the most. The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in West Virginia, the state worst af-flicted, has gone from 1.8 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 43.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. For the sake of mathematical exactitude this is a rise of 2400% in the incidence of opioid-related death in a single state, while the rest of the country’s death rate has ‘only’ risen by 700%.
Bagherpour, Armeghan, "Are prescription opioids increasing the addictive behavior and death rate in the United States over the last 20 years?" (2019). Physician Assistant Program Capstones. 2.