Americans Consume 80% of World’s Pain Killers

prescription drugsThe growing U.S. dependency on pain medication is a well documented phenomenon. However, a new statistic puts it into sharp focus:  

“Americans consume 80 percent of the world’s supply of painkillers — more than 110 tons of pure, addictive opiates every year — as the country’s prescription drug abuse epidemic explodes.   That’s enough drugs to give every single American 64 Percocets or Vicodin. And pain pill prescriptions continue to surge, up 600 percent in ten year, thanks to doctors who are more and more willing to hand out drugs to patients who are suffering.   As more people get their hands on these potentially-dangerous drugs, more are taking them to get high. Their drug abuse leads to 14,800 deaths a year — more than from heroin and cocaine combined.” – CBS 21  

The availability of pain killers in America has reduced the usage of more natural pain dampening behavior which generally takes longer and is slower in effectiveness. The ‘quick cure’ for pain has proved invaluable for many serious injuries and ailments, but has also become a crutch for the lazy. Preventable problems that stem from poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, and bad decision making are masked by pain killers instead of addressed fundamentally.   Doctors are all too ready to oblige consumers looking for the quick fix. Handing out pain killers is a great way to reduce the time needed for each patient, thus increasing turnover and profits. Furthermore, pain med companies are often the most profitable partners for doctors to work with, inspiring doctors to default to their product before suggesting less lucrative and more responsible solutions.   The strong market and constant demand of pain killers has caused many pharmaceutical companies to rush more and more varieties onto the market. The consumerism is driving the production and the abundant production is advancing consumerism.   Image courtesy of http://www.licadd.com/drug-alcohol-info/tips-for-teens/prescription-drug-misuse/

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