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Study reveals War on Drugs is to blame for opioid crisis, not prescription pain medication.

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What is already known about this topic?

Chronic pain has been linked to numerous physical and mental conditions and contributes to high health care costs and lost productivity. A limited number of studies estimate that the prevalence of chronic pain ranges from 11% to 40%.

What is added by this report?

In 2016, an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults had chronic pain and 8.0% of U.S. adults had high-impact chronic pain. Both were more prevalent among adults living in poverty, adults with less than a high school education, and adults with public health insurance.

What are the implications for public health practice?

This report helps fulfill a National Pain Strategy objective of producing more precise estimates of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain.

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