Painkillers are the nation’s most abused drug. These drugs are legal and are probably sitting in the medicine cabinet of out houses. Fatal drug overdoses are a death causing epidemic. Overdoses of opioid prescription painkillers account for the majority of the deaths caused do far.
A list released by the National Safety Council revealed startling facts that many people do not – but need to – know about the use of prescription painkillers:
- Opioid prescription painkillers cause Forty-five deaths every day – This number of deaths is more than the deaths from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.
- Enough prescription painkillers were provided to medicate every American around the clock for an entire month, in 2010.
- 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain killers procured them pills from their friends or relatives. About 5 percent of painkiller abusers got the medicines from a drug dealer or off the Internet.
- The U.S. consists of only 4.6 percent of the entire world’s population, but stunningly, consumes around 80 percent of the world’s opioids and 99 percent of the hydrocodone produced in the world.
- Middle-aged men and women are known to have the highest rate ofprescription painkiller fatal overdose. In recent times these rates are increasing most rapidly among women.
- The rate of deaths from overdose in women has increased by more than 400 percent since 1999, as compared to a 265 percent in men. The use of painkillers among teens is also on a rise.
Analytics: One in every eight high school seniors admit to the use of prescription painkillers as a form of recreation.
- Prescription painkillers are the gateway drugs to heroin. NSC Medical Advisor Dr. Don Teater reports to have just one patient whose prescription painkiller addiction began with a heroin addiction In 10 years of treating patients for substance abuse and addiction. All other patients have first been addicted to painkillers and switched to heroin because it is cheaper.
- Deaths from heroin overdose receive significant attention from the media. But these deaths have increased by a whopping 45 percent from the year 2006-2010. The rate of deaths from prescription painkillers have risen by more than 300 percent since 1999.
“The number of fatal prescription painkiller overdoses is staggering and unacceptable,” said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. “We need immediate action at the local, state and federal levels…”
According to a report submitted by the NSC , Prescription Nation, there are a total of 47 states are failing to effectively address the use of nonmedical prescription painkillers. The NSC examined the efforts made by the states in four areas: state leadership and action, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, responsible painkiller prescribing and overdose education and prevention programs.
About the National Safety Council,
The council was founded in the year 1913 and was chartered by Congress. the National Safety Council, or nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths that occur at work, in homes and across communities, and also on the road through leadership, in-depth research, education and advocacy of the righteous facts. NSC advances this mission by partnering with new businesses, government agencies, elected officials and public in areas where they can make the most impact – these sectors being distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
The NSC constantly strives to keep the people of the nation from any kind of damage. That’s what it has been chartered for, that’s what it stands for. The use of painkillers should be limited only till the pain subsides, and not beyond that.
Caution: illicit and abusive use of painkillers can cause death, don’t let painkillers kill you.