12-month total prevalent cases of opioid use disorder to reach 2.96 million by 2028 in 8MM

Nearly half of all 12-month total prevalent cases of opioid use disorder (OUD) occur in the population ages 18–39 years, followed by the age group 40–49 years with nearly 30%, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

There are many practices and behaviors that are associated with increased prevalence of OUD in younger adults and the middle-aged population. Peer group influence, physiologic vulnerability to opioid use supported by environmental factors including the availability, and easy access to medications function as the driving factors for the increased opioid abuse. Young adults who have a family member with a history of opioid misuse or who have a large number of friends who misuse prescription drugs also are at increased risk.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Opioid Use Disorder – Epidemiology Forecast Report to 2028’, states that the 12-month total prevalent cases of OUD in the eight major markets (8MM*) are expected to decline from 3.2 million in 2018 to 2.9 million in 2028, at a negative annual growth rate (AGR) of 0.77%. There were 2.2 million cases of the disease in the US in 2018, which represents nearly 70% of those in the 8MM. The increase in the 12-month total prevalent cases of OUD in the US are partially due to the overprescribing of opioid medications. Denmark had the lowest number of 12-month total prevalent cases in 2018 at about 22,000.

Arunkumar N.V, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “Risk factors for opioid misuse are initiation of opioids at young age, previous history of illicit drug or alcohol abuse, family history of illicit drug or alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, adverse childhood experiences and psychological comorbidities.

“The control measures for reducing the burden of OUD is an urgent task for the global public health sector. It is to be noted that the risks associated with high-dose opioid therapy outweigh the benefits opioid therapy offers for patients who are in need of it. Concern regarding the management of pain must be dealt with a vigilant manner in such patient populations. Furthermore, national policies and regulations, hospital regulations and doctors should play a critical role in this campaign for the reduction of opioid misuse.”

*8MM: US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland

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