Experts say opioid drug abuse in America has skyrocketed

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the CDC is urging general doctors to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to painkillers for chronic pain. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) РAfter Investigators said musical artist Prince had prescription pain medication on him when he died, medical experts are now warning that opioid drug abuse is a national crisis.

The federal government said opioid drug abuse has gotten so bad that someone is accidentally overdosing every 19 minutes.

Experts said in 2014, 28,000 people died from overdoses connected to opioids.

“Yeah it’s an epidemic for sure, we’re five percent of the worlds population Americans are, and yet we consume 80 percent of the global supply of opiates,” Omar Manejwala, Doctor.

Opioids reduce pain by switching off pain receptors in the brain.

Some of the pain medications include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone

An illegal opioid is heroin.

Heroin abuse has increased as well because of the street availability.

“Even when you look at people who are using heroin the vast majority of them now started with pain pills,” Manejwala said.

Manejwala said heroin is currently sending 7,000 people a day to the emergency room.

CNN contributed to this report.

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