This Should Scare You More Than Terrorism: The Opioid Epidemic | South Bay Pain Doctors

This Should Scare You More Than Terrorism: The Opioid Epidemic

That’s correct. While politicians have spent several trillion dollars on foreign wars, they’ve distracted us from the very real threat that can be found in our own homes, targeting our families. In 1997, the United States became one of only two developed countries on the planet that made it legal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise […]

That’s correct. While politicians have spent several trillion dollars on foreign wars, they’ve distracted us from the very real threat that can be found in our own homes, targeting our families. In 1997, the United States became one of only two developed countries on the planet that made it legal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise drugs directly to consumers, including children. Since then prescription drug addiction and prescription drug overdoses have skyrocketed – in fact, quadrupled.

We now have a generation of young adults who grew up with a drug dealer living in their homes 24/7 – the television, magazines and internet pushing pills as a solution to every imaginable condition. Eighty percent of opioid addictions begin with a prescription for pain medication at your doctor’s office. It must be safe if a doctor prescribes it, right? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 47,055 people died of an accidental drug overdose – 29,467 of those from opioid-related drugs, which includes prescription pain medication. To put that into perspective, firearms were used to kill 13,286 people in the United States over the same period (excluding suicide) with a total of 3,340 killed in terrorist attacks on American soil since 1995 (3,003 in the September 2001 attacks alone).

Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Four out of five people who become addicted to heroin start out with a legal prescription from a physician – a result of injury, post-operative care or a medical procedure. Substance-abuse disorders affect 20.8 million people in the United States — as many as those with diabetes and 1½ times as many as those with cancer. Yet, only one in 10 people receives treatment.

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