May 2, 2021-  But when she was 26 years old, a phone call with her father made her realize the “living hell” she had put her family through. That’s when she decided to reach out for help. 

Liller’s story is one in a widespread opioid crisis that has gripped the US since the late 1990s. Since 1999 the number of drug overdose deaths has quadrupled, with nearly 500,000 people dying from an overdose involving an opioid between 1999 and 2019, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An estimated 1.6 million people in the US ages 12 and older have an opioid use disorder, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey on drug use and health from 2019, the most recent year for which data is available. 

An estimated 10.1 million people misused prescription opioids, 745,000 people have used heroin, and 70,630 people died of a drug overdose in 2019, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone are the most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths, according to the CDC. “Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them. In fact, as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggle with opioid addiction,” the CDC reported. 

CNN spoke to several adults who started using drugs as children but managed to turn their lives around. Here are some of their stories.



Subscribe Today! Your best source of current news, information and opinion about the issues that matter to you most. Serving the treatment industry, recovery community and health and wellness professionals.