Opioid Epidemic

Perhaps the most dangerous and most concerning drug abuse issue of them all right now is that of the prescription opioid epidemic raging across the nation. This is really disappointing because pharmaceutical drugs are supposed to make our lives easier, and they are often strongly recommended to people even though they are highly addictive and dangerous and even lethal in tens of thousands of cases every year.

Today, more than ever, the corruption between big pharma and the federal government is apparent.  Prescription drugs are a multi-billion dollar industry in which a lot of people make a lot of money.  Unfortunately, major pharmaceutical companies also have some members of Congress and other individuals in their pocket too, and this has made for troubles indeed when it comes to banning certain drugs that are immensely addictive and dangerous.

Coincidentally, the opioid epidemic is also one of the most under-reported and least discussed addiction issues in the United States, probably because so many wealthy American corporate moguls stand to profit so much from it.

The truth is the truth though, and that is easily defined by even just one quote from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is the number one most concerning drug abuse and addiction-related issue in the entire United States.  As of this past year, it is the only substance in the history of the nation to advance beyond a ‘Crisis,’ and into the level of an actual ‘Epidemic.’  Truthfully speaking, if something is not done soon on this issue, then the situation will only get much, much worse than it’s already currently terrifying status quo.

Looking at the Opioid Epidemic Facts

By no means at all is this article is not meant to harm, defame, or incriminate anyone even though the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs does carry with it significant legal repercussions that should always be taken into consideration by anyone who is fantasizing about pharmaceutical drug use and abuse.  Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies are under close watch now because of the drug abuse and addiction crisis that is hitting the nation currently.

However, the intention behind this article is to raise awareness on the overall issue that there is a real prescription drug addiction epidemic in the nation today.  Also, it is trying to shed some light on the problems that we as citizens struggle with today as a result of prescription drug addiction and abuse.

To aide us and others in our quest to inform the populace of the crisis that is addiction today, many organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Trust for American Health (TAH), have all worked together diligently and continuously to provide such statistical data and evidence on this real problem.

For example:
  • Statistics show that opiate abuse (including pharmaceutical opiate pills) and opiate addiction, in general, cost Americans over $484 billion each year. This amount includes healthcare costs and violations of the healthcare system, lost wages, car accidents, crime, and criminal justice system costs.  Opiate use and addiction, in general, is linked to at least fifty percent if not more of the major crimes in the United States, and at least half of all suspects arrested for violent crimes (homicide, assault, etc.) were under the influence of opiates when they were arrested.
  • Reports indicate that nearly a full two-thirds of people in opiate abuse treatment report were physically or sexually abused as children and that resulted in their substance abuse.  The 2002 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reported that in the year of 2002, heroin-related and opiate pill-related hospital Emergency Department episodes numbered no less than 93,519.
  • In the year of 2006, approximately 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit opiate users and abusers. This could be with either heroin or opiate pills or both even.  According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Web Site), 605,000 Americans of the age of 12 and older had abused heroin at least once in the year before being surveyed for it.

What to Do About This Epidemic

The only truly successful and efficient way of addressing addiction, especially when it involves something like prescription drug addiction, lies in getting those who are addicted to such drugs to enter into an addiction rehabilitation program.  Now more than ever these methods and are needed to help address and eradicate the opioid epidemic once and for all.

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