About the [Opioid] Epidemic Posted on September 7, 2016 by ronentity About the [Opioid] Epidemic FACT SHEET: The Opioid Epidemic – By The Numbers (PDF – 365 KB) This two-page fact sheet from HHS highlights statistics about drug overdose deaths and opioid abuse, the economic impact of the opioid epidemic, progress from the last year, and next steps in addressing the epidemic. Understanding the Epidemic Each day, 44 people in the United States die from overdose of prescription drugs. A big part of the overdose problem results from prescription drugs called opioids. What the Public Needs to Know about the Epidemic Protect yourself and your loved ones from prescription drug abuse and overdose death. History of Opioid Addiction in the United States Opioid use disorder in the United States can be documented in three broad time periods—1860-1910, 1910-1950, 1950-Present.