For over twenty years, physicians in the U.S. have overprescribed opioids.
As an example, in 2017 alone, health care providers in the U.S. wrote more than 191 million prescriptions for opioids—a rate of 58.7 prescriptions per 100 people.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died from opioid overdoses, and millions more have seen their lives destroyed by chronic addiction. On average, 130 Americans die from opioid overdoses every single day.
This problem has been so well publicized; surely, the practice has stopped, right?
Walk into any emergency room in the U.S. complaining of pain from arthritis or an injury, and there is a better than even chance the attending physician will prescribe an opioid.
Perhaps even worse – give birth in the U.S. and you are likely to be over-prescribed opioids for postpartum pain… that according to a new study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
And what do we know about the consequences of such a practice?
The first time many women of childbearing age are exposed to opioids is at childbirth. What’s more, the risk of addiction after the postpartum period is significant even after a single prescription of these drugs, regardless of the drug delivery route.
All of this leads us back to one of the pressing questions of our time… why does the medical community continue to prescribe these medications as routinely as they do?
And there are effective alternative therapies that are far less dangerous.
What it shows is a system of medicine unable to police itself and an industry (pharmaceutical) that has far too much power and influence.
How many people have to die before things change?
If you ask us, change is long overdue.
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