A Nation Addicted to Pills
The U.S. makes up approximately 5% of the world’s population and consumes 80% of the world’s opioids. The usage of opioid (narcotic) therapy comes with significant risk e.g. addiction, distorted memory and cognitive function, increased fall risk, overdose etc. The risk of addiction is not to be taken lightly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in its Public Health Grand Rounds a detailed report focused on the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and related overdoses. “The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses.
Over 27, 000 people die annually from prescription drug overdoses, a number that has risen five-fold since 1990 and has never been higher”. Prescription drugs are now involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Because of these concerns in February 2013 an FDA advisory panel recommended that drugs containing hydrocodone be moved from the more relaxed controls of Schedule III to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act.
Hydrocodone, they say, is addictive, destructive and easy to access. Over the past decade, addiction and deaths tied to the drugs have soared. (http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/191314821.html) And recently, the DEA reclassified Tramadol as a schedule IV drug because of similar concerns.