135+

people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses

11.5M

people misused prescription opioids

93,000

people died from overdosing on opioids per year

2.1M

people had an opioid use disorder

81,000

people used heroin for the first time

886,000

people used heroin

"The rise of synthetic opioids - specifically those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl and its analogues – has doubled deaths in Americans under 50 years old since the late 2010s."

Statistics and Research

WHY ARE OPIOIDS USED?

Opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin®) have traditionally been prescribed for pain relief. However, opioids are also illegal drugs like heroin and illicit fentanyl. When the body’s nervous system interprets pain signals, a message travels through sensory receptors, gets sent through the spinal cord, and ultimately reaches the brain. When someone takes an opioid, these pain messages are blocked, and the pain threshold is lessened through different receptors.

 

WHAT MAKES OPIOIDS DANGEROUS?

Opioids can lessen discomfort by stopping the pain sensor from reaching the brain. The disruption is deadly because the drug binds to receptors on the brain linked with our brain stem, where the body’s autonomic functioning skills are located. These essential functions include breathing and heart rate. Therefore, when someone suffers an opioid overdose, it affects these automatic functions causing breathing and heart rate to slow or even stop.

 

HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME DEPENDANT?

Opioids impact brain functions and it takes less than a week to form a dependency. When opioid molecules cross the blood-brain barrier, the drug latches to neurons flooding the system with feel-good neurotransmitters. When a person consistently floods the brain by using drugs, the only time a person feels “happy” is when they use drugs. When the high is over, the brain is exhausted from the feel-good neurotransmitters, leaving the individual depressed. To avoid feeling sad, more drugs are taken, promoting the cycle of addiction.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING STATS

  • The national human trafficking hotline received 26,727 calls in 2016 (22% increase over 2015)
  • Texas had the second most calls behind California
  • The U.S. had 7,572 recorded cases of trafficking in 2016. 77% sex /14% labor / 9% not specified
  • 76% of all transactions for commercial sex acts occur online
  • Only 3% of sex trafficking victims reported to the U.S. DOJ were born outside of the U.S.
  • Of the victims, 76% come from middle- and upper-income homes, 24% come from low income homes
  • The average lifespan of a sex trafficking victim is 7 years
  • The chance of rescue is less than 2%

 

FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, & SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act 

This bill signed into law in 2018 helps fight online sex trafficking by increasing criminal penalties for web platforms who knowingly facilitate human trafficking on their platforms provides civil restitution for victims. 

 

THE S.M.A.R.T ACT

Signed and passed in Texas - This Act standardizes the minimum age requirement in Texas in order to work in a sexually oriented business.  

 

 

Source: CDC< Center of Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality

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