The United States is battling the rampant use of opioids both unprescribed and prescribed. A new study revealed that in 2015, more than one out of every three average U.S. citizen was prescribed these opioid painkillers, even though there are a growing number of studies which prove that these drugs can cause addiction and even overdose. The country, in turn, will need to improve access to other pain management techniques instead of relying on these harmful drugs.

Study lead Dr. Wilson Compton revealed that 38 percent of the 92 million people in the United States were prescribed these painkillers in 2015, which is an astonishingly high number of people who are most likely being pushed toward addiction.

Compton said he was astonished that such a high number of adults still consumed these drugs knowing the harmful effects that they may have.

One-third of American adults use prescription opioids

Compton revealed that very little data was available regarding the prescription Opioid use even though the overdose deaths from these drugs have increased by almost four times between 1999 and 2015. The research in question was conducted by Compton and his team of researchers by conducting face-to-face interviews with 51,200 adults for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The 38 percent estimate that the study reported was based on all of these interviews.

Other interesting aspects which came to light included the fact that people aged 18 to 49 were less likely to consume these drugs, compared to people older or younger.

The study also showed that men and college graduates were less likely to be prescribed these opioids than women and those who did not graduate from college. Five percent of the people were also reportedly misusing the opioids. This means that they were either not using these drugs as the doctor ordered or were using them without the doctor's permissions.

The research also concluded that around one percent of the adults or 1.9 million people in America had an opioid disorder. Disorder, in this case, refers to the ones who will suffer from withdrawal symptoms if the opioid usage is stopped. The misuse and disorder are more widely found in lower income range families, especially those without a steady source of income or a job.

Other data revealed by the opioid usage study

Around 64 percent of the people who admitted to misusing the drugs said that they did so in a bid to relieve pain. 41 percent of the participants also revealed that they received the drugs from family members or friends. Researchers believe that the government should promote other pain relieving measures, while opioids should be the last resort in such cases.