Poll Finds Percentage of Adults Prescribed Opioid Painkillers on the Rise

A new poll finds 57 percent of adults say they have been prescribed an opioid painkiller at some point, compared with 54 percent in 2014 and 50 percent in 2011.

The NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll found 74 percent of opioid prescriptions were for temporary acute pain, such as pain caused by a broken arm or dental procedure. Nineteen percent said they received opioids for chronic pain, NPR reports.

Among people who had not used opioid painkillers, almost half said they had concerns about them, up from 30 percent in 2014 and 2011. Their biggest concern was becoming addicted to the pills. In contrast, among people taking opioids, 35 percent said they had concerns about the medication, down 1 percent from 2014 and 2011. People taking opioids were most worried about side effects.