Opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose is a serious public health concern that has plagued the healthcare system for the last thirty years. The compiled research in the following paper explores the rise of the opioid epidemic, the implications of more recent prescription monitoring and pain management programs, the relationship between non-prescription and prescription opioids, and the current face of the epidemic, illicit opioids. Kentucky has, unfortunately, been at the forefront of this epidemic with regard to both prescription and illicit opioids. Policy reformation and preventative action must be taken into consideration in regard to the relationship between prescription and non-prescription opioid use. Addressing the relationship is crucial to ensure by fighting one addiction we are not unknowingly promoting another in order to effectively turn the tide on the opioid epidemic.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-3-2021


Lisa S. Middleton

Mentor Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level