The Epidemic That Cannot Be Ignored
Prescription drug abuse is not just a US problem.
Charlotte Barker |
Two epidemics have touched the US in the past year. One highly publicized, the other much less so. Despite the media hysteria, the Ebola outbreak – which killed over 11,000 people, mostly in West Africa – resulted in only 10 cases and two deaths in the US. Compare that with recent figures on what the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially declared an “epidemic of prescription drug abuse”: 16,000 deaths each year are caused by overdoses of prescription opioids – just one outcome of over 8 million Americans abusing prescription drugs, as we discover here.
But, you say, “drug use and abuse is not a new phenomenon!” That’s certainly true, but the sheer scale of prescription drug abuse – and the resulting fatalities – is shocking. For the areas worst affected by the epidemic, the impact on families and communities has been devastating.
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