Prescription Painkillers More Widely Used than Tobacco, Federal Study Finds

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A federal study has found that more than 1 in 3 American adults were given prescription painkillers by medical providers last year. When you factor in those who use painkillers without a prescription, that comes out to 38 percent of the population. In contrast, 31 percent of Americans use tobacco; in 2015, more American adults used prescription painkillers than used cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or cigars – COMBINED.

According to a 2008 study, it’s estimated that Americans use about 80 percent of the global opioid supply and 99 percent of the supply of hydrocodone. No, most people don’t misuse painkillers but it does happen and can not only ruin your life but kill you as well.

From the article:

“…for many people afflicted with chronic pain, proper management with prescription painkillers can mean the difference between debilitating illness and daily functioning.

But many prescription painkillers are highly habit-forming, and they can be deadly if taken at high doses, or in conjunction with other drugs such as alcohol. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid painkillers killed nearly 19,000 Americans. That’s greater than the total number of Americans (15,809) who were murdered that year.”

But if these drugs are so dangerous and have such a high potential for misuse, what’s going on?

  • Big Pharma has done intense lobbying to keep these drugs lightly regulated and readily available- pro-painkiller groups outspend groups arguing for tighter restrictions by more than 200 to 1.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are known to engage in “unscrupulous or illegal behavior” to promote opioids; in 2007 Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin, pleaded guilty to charges that it misled regulators and doctors about the abuse potential of the drug.
  • Employees at Insys Therapeutics, a manufacturer of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, plead guilty to charges involving kickback schemes for fentanyl sales.

It’s always about money. ALWAYS.

Also, part of the problem lies at the doorstep of the DEA. Their policies, both old and new, are preventing federal efforts to stop opioid abuse. Remember, earlier this year the DEA REFUSED to reduce restrictions on marijuana even going so far as to say there was “insufficient evidence” of its medical benefits (we all know that’s bullshit).

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Then, they went a step further and announced a plan to ban the use of kratom, a plant with opiate-like qualities, that many users report using in order to quit more powerful prescription painkillers.

We are under attack. We are in the middle of an epidemic. Someone needs to do something quickly before things get far, far worse. And that might just be swallowing their pride (FDA, Big Pharma, CDC, DEA) and working for the protection and betterment of the people they claim to want to protect.

Source: Washington Post



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Erin Elizabeth

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Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is less than 2 years old but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.