Painkiller addictions are racking up immense consequences in the US and are rapidly becoming a big problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse roughly 52 million people in the United States over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs for various non-medical reasons in their lifetime. With numbers such as this, the question must be asked if whether or not pharmaceutical companies are to blame for the increased painkiller addictions rates.
In the past, medicine came primarily from nature. Over the last 100 years or so, scientists and researchers started isolating the unique chemical compounds traditionally found in various plants and herbs. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry was born. It is thriving today and there seems to be a seemingly endless supply of drugs to go around. In 2010, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult every 4 hours for 1 month.
Why Use Prescription Painkillers?
The top 5 reasons people use prescription painkillers as reported by the PATS Attitude Tracking Study in 2005 are the following:
- Easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinet
- Available everywhere
- Not illegal drugs
- They are cheap
- Safer to use than illegal drugs
It’s interesting to see that many people view prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs despite the fact that there has been a 400% increase in deaths from painkiller overdose among women since 1999 and a 265% increase among men, which doesn’t really come as much of a surprise when most people report that painkillers are cheap, easy to find, and are available pretty much anywhere.
There are plenty of organizations and institutions that have been dedicated to preventing and fighting painkiller addiction. However, the epidemic hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. In a recent Vice News article Arielle Pardes reports, “In California, a lawsuit is underway alleging that pharmaceutical companies profit from doctors over-prescribing opioids. Specifically, the suit alleges that in 2010, the sale of prescription opioids generated $8 billion in revenues for pharmaceutical companies.”
The article goes on to state that prescription opiates generated $8 billion in revenues for pharmaceutical companies in 2010. A study also revealed that the amount of prescriptions written for opiates nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010. With the increase in deaths as well as an increase in distribution happening simultaneously, it’s no wonder why the problem is only getting worse.
Who Is To Blame for Painkiller Addictions?
It’s easy to blame the big pharma companies because they seem to be profiting the most from the current painkiller crisis. However, there are many other critical players involved in this dilemma. The doctors who prescribe painkillers for extra cash, the parents who don’t educate their kids or hide their prescriptions, and the people who illegally provide the drugs to others all share part of the blame for painkiller addictions.
For those who are currently facing addiction and are desperately seeking long-term recovery, it’s highly recommended to receive inpatient treatment. There are plenty of benefits ranging from medically supervised detox, exercise, diet changes, and counseling. Call to receive help for painkiller addiction and to reclaim your life.