(NBC) – A new study looks at just how many Americans abuse prescription opioids.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University looked at data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health.
Of the 889 million adults who use prescription opioids each year, about 3.9 million reported misusing them.
People with a history of illegal activity, mental illness or other types of drug-abuse were the most likely to misuse opioids.
Experts say doctors should be especially vigilant about the possibility of misuse among patients who are prescribed more potent opioid medications and prescribed them for long-term use.