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Deaths from Prescription Painkillers Triple in 20 Years – What’s Going On?

by Ella Jameson, Natural Society:

The deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger may have grabbed headlines, but there is a far larger tragedy behind America’s recreational painkiller epidemic. Deaths from prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the last 20 years, while drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

These deaths are not the consequences of poverty cycles or criminal gangs; they are a consequence of our country’s dysfunctional health system. This particular disease is almost unique to the US, with causes that lie in the very institutions that should have our best interests at heart.

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2 comments to Deaths from Prescription Painkillers Triple in 20 Years – What’s Going On?

  • uncviper23

    And you/we society think we can take a “tool” like opiates/pain meds/narcotics and legislate morality and intelligence when used correctly keep billions from suffering needlessly??

    What about starting with the ballot box yea do-gooders! They ought to be a history test or some way to gauge the competence of the voter. That is much more dangerous.

    As a registered nurse there are always going to be people abusing everything. You going to save to world from itself?? I’ve seen more good than harm in 25 years of nursing come from pain medicine used correctly.

    • Ed_B

      I could not agree more and find it ludicrous that those who know nothing about real pain so love to rant and rave about the evils of medications in general but vaccines and pain medications in particular. Of course, their bodies have not been ravaged by something that causes excruciating pain on a daily basis. If they had, their eyes would now be open and they would understand the value that these medications have.

      Yes, it is too bad that not everyone benefits from every medicine there is but that’s just the way it is. Some people cannot tolerate certain meds. Others are allergic to some meds. Still others for unknown reasons are not helped by some meds. In a sane world, a med that’s given to 100,000 people while helping 99,999 of them and killing 1 person via incompatibility would not be deemed a dismal failure. It isn’t now by the 99,999 people who were helped by it but then they are not running the FDA or any other part of the American medical apparatus.

      Those who continue to doubt the usefulness of pain meds should consider what it is like for many cancer patients. They are slowly being eaten alive from the inside out by this horrific disease and there is absolutely no medication that they should be denied in their search for a little relief from this kind of terrible pain.

      Perhaps one day there will be a medical energy field that can be applied to the terminally ill that can simply switch off their pain signals. Until that day comes, however, we have to do the best that we can with what we have and right now that happens to be medication.

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