It’s no secret to us or the rest of the world; The United States has a growing opioid problem. Thousands of people have overdosed and died already. And, while state and federal governments have made adjustments to help, more and more people keep dying. So, what can we do? Learning about the causes and development of this opioid problem can help us to prevent overdose in our own lives and the lives of our loved ones. And, it can open up possibilities to come to discover a way we can solve this horrific epidemic.
Statistics about the Opioid Problem in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of 2015, “Deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone—have more than quadrupled since 1999.” And, everyday in the U.S., 91 American citizens die of an opioid drug related overdose. Obviously, there is an issue that is affecting people and families all over the country. And, identifying why this is happening can help us to prevent these statistics from being our own loved ones and family members.
Cause #1: Government Economic Intervention
This is one of the most untalked about causes of the opioid epidemic, but it should be considered. We know that the demographics of individuals who are being most affected by the opioid problem are those who have not benefited from government economic intervention. For example, the government works to create licensing and other requirements for specific jobs like doctors, lawyers, and government officials. But, when these regulations are put into place, there is a limit to a number of individuals who can obtain all of the requirements and work in a specific field. This instills a workforce divide. With minimal resources, reduced hope, and financial stress, those on the side of this workforce divide who haven’t benefited from government intervention are at a higher risk for developing an addiction.
Cause #2: The War on Drugs or the War on Americans?
When you take the option to use substances away from people, they’re going to find other substances. And, more often than not, the substitute substance is a more potent and dangerous option. We’ve seen this throughout history with the prohibition when moonshine and European liquor exports were all the rage. And, we saw it again with the war on drugs in the 1980’s. The federal government made the consuming and purchasing of now illicit drugs illegal. While this seems like a good idea to stop drug use, it really just led to drug dealers reaching to other countries with more potent drugs. So, government interference with substance legality has actually led to increased opiate and opioid abuse.
Cause #3: Big Pharmaceutical Marketing Tactics
This cause has been going on for decades and is the main cause of opioid-related deaths. “Big Pharmaceutical” is the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. In recent decades, Big Pharmaceutical has increased marketing efforts for opioid prescriptions. And, they’ve even changed guidelines as to how to use them so that they could be utilized more often. Which, indeed, increases sales for Big Pharmaceutical because more doctors can prescribe them to more patients. Rather than using opioid prescriptions in dire circumstances like solely horrific injuries, surgery, and chronic illness, people are getting opioid prescriptions for relatively minor conditions or injuries. And, since a single 30-day prescription can lead to the development of an opioid dependence, these marketing tactics are the reason for thousands, if not tens of thousands, opioid-related deaths.
Helping Someone You Love with Opioid Addiction
It’s a scary thing to know that a loved one is struggling with an opioid dependency or addiction when the country is battling this epidemic. But, if you’re loved one is still with us, it’s not too late for them to get help. But, tomorrow may be too late. So, if you think that your loved one may be struggling with an addiction, talk to them about their options to get help. And, if you have any questions about treatment options, intervention, or anything else, there is always someone to talk to at Simple Path Recovery. Just give us a call today to speak confidentially with an addiction specialist at 855-467-3625.