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Prevalence of prescription pain medication use among adults : United States, 2015–2018
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    Key findings -- Did the prevalence of any past or present HBV infection differ by sex, race and Hispanic origin, or U.S. birth status? -- Did the prevalence of hepatitis B vaccination differ by sex, race and Hispanic origin, or U.S. birth status? -- What was the trend in the prevalence of any past or present HBV infection? -- What was the trend in the prevalence of hepatitis B vaccination? -- Summary -- Definitions -- Data source and methods -- About the authors -- References -- Suggested citation.

    Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

    • In 2015–2018, 10.7% of U.S. adults aged 20 and over used one or more prescription pain medications (opioid or nonopioid) in the past 30 days.

    • In 2015–2018, 5.7% of U.S. adults used one or more prescription opioids.

    • Prescription opioid use was higher among women than men, and use increased with age.

    • In 2015–2018, 5.0% of adults used nonopioid prescription pain medications without prescription opioids in the past 30 days; use was lowest among non-Hispanic Asian adults.

    • From 2009–2010 through 2017–2018, no significant change in the use of prescription opioids was seen, but use of nonopioid prescription pain medications (without prescription opioids) increased.

    Prescription pain medications are used to treat pain due to injury, surgery, and health conditions, such as arthritis and cancer. While opioids may be prescribed together with nonopioid pain medications, nonpharmacologic and nonopioid-containing pharmacologic therapies are preferred for management of chronic pain, where appropriate (1). This report shows the percentage of U.S. adults who, in the past 30 days, used one or more prescription pain medications, used prescription opioid medications, or used nonopioid prescription pain medications (without prescription opioids) in 2015–2018.

    Suggested citation: Hales CM, Martin CB, Gu Q. Prevalence of prescription pain medication use among adults: United States, 2015–2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 369. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2020.

    CS317261

    db369-h.pdf

  • Content Notes:
    Key findings -- What percentage of U.S. adults used one or more prescription pain medications in the past 30 days in 2015–2018, and did use differ by age and sex? -- Did prescription pain medication use in the past 30 days differ by sex and race and Hispanic origin in 2015–2018? -- What percentage of U.S. adults used one or more prescription opioid pain medications in the past 30 days in 2015–2018, and did use differ by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin? -- What percentage of U.S. adults used one or more nonopioid prescription pain medications without prescription opioids in the past 30 days in 2015–2018, and did use differ by sex, age, and race and Hispanic origin? -- What are the trends in the use of one or more prescription opioids and nonopioid prescription pain medications (without prescription opioids) among adults? -- Summary -- Definitions -- Data source and methods -- About the authors -- References -- Suggested citation.
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