In 2015, physicians wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medications, or enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of pills. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Across the country, the use of opioids accounted for 63% of the 52,000 drug overdoses in 2015.

Medications that fall into the opioid category include fentanyl, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone, which are usually prescribed for acute or severe pain due to illness, surgery or accidents.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to PropertyCasualty360.com, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]

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