The nation-wide opioid epidemic is worsening, despite government bans on the usage of the drugs. According to the government’s own data published Tuesday, there were 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays for opioid-related issues in a single year.
When compared to numbers collected in 2005, the latest available data for every state and the District of Columbia (through 2014) reflects a 64 percent increase for inpatient care and a 99 percent jump for emergency room treatment. And their trajectory likely will keep climbing if the epidemic continues unabated. The opioid epidemic begins and ends with “Big Pharma.”
Big Pharma is the winner in the war on drugs. Getting people hooked on dangerous meds who in turn need drugs and medical care to save their lives keeps the money flowing into the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies. Putting the opioid epidemic in perspective:
Unsurprisingly, more of those overdoses pertained to opioids — legal, prescription medications, or illicit heroin, too frequently of dubious quality, sought by those for whom State-sanctioned painkillers no longer killed the pain — than to any other substance. –The Daily Sheeple
“To put the death toll into perspective,” Democracy Now! reports, “opioid deaths have now surpassed the peak in death by car crash in 1972, AIDS deaths in 1995, and gun deaths in 1993. After 20 years of heavy combat in South Vietnam, U.S. military casualties represented only one-third of the death toll from 10 years of opioid overdoses. Meanwhile, counties and states around the country have filed lawsuits to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the public health crisis.”
But with Big Parma continually pumping money into the very government who will be used to try these cases, will justice be served? Most aren’t optimistic. After all, vaccine manufacturers (Big Pharma) aren’t held responsible for the injuries caused by their poisonous inoculations. While people die, Big Pharma continues to lobby the government so they can continue this epidemic and make money as long as possible.
“The opioid lobby has been doing everything it can to preserve the status quo of aggressive prescribing,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a champion of prescription opioid reform, told the AP. “They are reaping enormous profits from aggressive prescribing.”
This epidemic is affecting all genders and races, and all income brackets. Although we can pinpoint the cause of the epidemic as Big Pharma’s lobbying, because that’s the cause, it’ll be hard to combat. Dr. Kolodny says that the problem begins small, but is quickly magnified. “…doctors don’t like to give healthy-looking 25-year-olds a large quantity [of opioid pain medication] on a monthly basis. So, this younger group, when they become addicted, to maintain their supply, they wind up on the black market. The prescription opioids are very expensive on the black market, so they’ve been switching to heroin. And this switching began, you know, 20 years ago.”
Of course, what isn’t often mentioned in mainstream media when the pernicious crisis does make headlines are several viable ways to rein it in — likely due to stigma and arbitrary laws. It’s no longer a secret that the pharmaceutical companies are slowly killing us for money; that may seem extreme to some, but it’s a valuable way to look at the whole situation. Stigma is a burden those who seek to help have to endure as well, as a church in Ohio found out.
Cannabis provides perhaps the greatest hope for addicts and abusers by supplanting opioids and treating pain without any of the addictive qualities that fueled this crisis, to begin with. However, cannabis remains a Schedule I prohibited substance and it’s therefore, still tainted with politicized stigmatization from the fabricated propaganda of the war on drugs. Those who could benefit heartily from the miracle plant are not able to do so unless they reside in one of the states with laxer laws.
As long as the drug war remains the U.S. government’s premier concern, the opioid epidemic cannot be contained. Pharmaceutical companies have money and power, and until this is nipped in the bud, the epidemic will worsen.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.