21 Dec Pain Killer Addiction is at Epidemic Levels
As many as 15,000 Americans die each year from prescription pain pill overdose. The problem is growing at such a rate that it’s being called everything from a plague to an epidemic. Patients instructed to take a certain dose to deal with pain find themselves in a death spiral when the addiction isn’t treated. Some patients will go out of their way to hide their addiction and feed it with higher doses to get the same effect they once got off a single dose.
While the pain killer addiction sweeps the U.S., the United Kingdom is also dealing with its own burgeoning prescription pill problem. The perception being played out in today’s society in the U.K. and the U.S. is that if there is a temporary cure for pain and discomfort, it’s perfectly acceptable to take it. It’s become an $11 billion dollar industry in America where 80 percent of the opioids taken in the world are consumed on American soil.
Three times more Americans are dying each year from opioid overdoses now than they were a decade ago, according to the CDC, the agency that has termed the problem an epidemic. It’s become such a problem that 17 states list death by opioid overdose as the number one killer. This epidemic is particularly rampant in the middle-aged, white male demographic.
A decade ago, opioids seemed like a miracle drug for pain, and doctors took note – they prescribed opioids like OxyContin with confidence, but that was before the level of addiction was known.
Medical professionals are taking note about the epidemic and doing what they can to ease the problem, but the seed has already been cast. It will likely take a larger-scale solution to slow the epidemic.
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