Consumption of Prescription Opioids for Pain: A Comparison of Opioid Use in the United States and Other Countries

Since the late 1990s, the United States has outpaced every other country in per capita opioid consumption. Most research suggests that high levels of prescription opioid consumption in the United States have contributed to the current epidemic of opioid misuse and overdose deaths; a review of the scientific literature through February 2020 on international opioid consumption and prescribing practices points to several possible underlying reasons explaining the difference in opioid consumption per capita in the United States.

A Report from the Congressional Research Service.  Click here to read the full report.