In 2001, the annual death rate for prescription drugs in America was less than 10,000 people. In 2015, that number reached almost 30,000 people. In just 15 years, the rate of people dying taking prescription medications has tripled. If you add the number of people who died for overdosing on street drugs you can at least double the total number to around 60,000 people. Even more alarming is that 20,000 of the people who died from prescription meds died taking opioids. We are hooked on painkillers it would seem.
Maybe we aren’t paying attention anymore because we are all too damned stoned to figure out what’s even going on.
Here’s a newsflash you may remember- Prince died from an opioid overdose. Is anyone paying attention yet? I doubt it.
I was offered a lot of powerful pain killers after breaking my leg a few weeks ago but I had a two tiered safety net; first, my wife who kept a very close watch on the kind of pain killers and the frequency and second my family doctor who I have been a patient of for years and years. You would think others would be protected by a better system of checks and balances but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
Of course, don’t overlook the fact that Pharmaceutical companies brought in something on the order of $30 billion dollars from opioid sales the last year too. So I guess you need to weigh the profits against the cost of funerals. We have piles of laws pertaining to prescription and specifically black label drugs. The requirements on doctors alone are pretty onerous and yet another 50 people will die today because of prescription Opioids.
By the way, just for reference and of course to be fair, cocaine nailed about 6,000 coffins shut last year and heroin sent about 20,000 more souls to the hereafter. Methamphetamine’s, special K, ecstasy, sniffing glue and a few other fun-filled pastimes hurried the trip over to the cemetery for thousands more.
Really makes you want to get high huh?