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According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, addiction to prescription opioid painkillers is real. Of the 21.5 million Americans 12 or older who had a substance use disorder in 2014, 1.9 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain pills.
Addicts aren't just the stereotypical shady figures hiding in dark alleys to get a fix. They are average people turning to health care providers for medication that is highly addictive. Mayo Clinic experts agree that an opioid epidemic exists in the U.S.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to pain medicine specialist Dr. Mike Hooten about the changing face of addiction.
View the complete series:
Journalists: This broadcast-quality video pkg (1:01) is in the downloads. Read the script.