The Deadly Toll of America's Opioid Crisis

I can’t help but believe there’s a lot of broken souls behind these numbers

In observance of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as World Drug Day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released the latest edition of its annual World Drug Report, shining a light on the latest trends in drug use and trafficking around the world.

According to the report, global drug use has been on the rise in recent years, with the number of 15-64 year-olds using drugs climbing from 210 million in 2009 to an estimated 269 million users in 2018. While cannabis remains the most widely used substance with an estimated 192 million users in 2018, opioids are by far the most harmful drug in the world. With an estimated 58 million users, opioids accounted for 66 percent of the 167,000 drug-related deaths in 2017. The United States, which has been grappling with an opioid crisis for years, had more than 10 million opioid users in 2018, accounting for the lion’s share of the country’s drug-related deaths.

As the following chart shows, the opioid crisis is taking a deadly toll on America as the number of drug-related deaths per million people aged 15-64 is much higher than in any other country in the world. With a rate of 314.5 deaths per million and an estimated total of 67,367 drug-related deaths in 2018, the U.S. lost more lives to the use of drugs than the next 20 countries combined. With an estimated number of 25,727 drug-related deaths, China was the second worst affected country in terms of lives lost. In terms of the drug-related mortality rate, Australia came second with 202.6 deaths per million people aged 15-64.

Like my occasional blunt, but damn the use of opiods is rampant. I tried coke once back in the day, but became fearful of it after that single episode. It was soooo good, that I could see why people could become addicted.

Have a family member who is recovering and clean for 3 years now, after needing THREE narcan doses to pull her back from the grave. It’s scary stuff.

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Glad to hear that she survived it and is on the mend. It’s interesting how the pandemic and social justice movement have completely taken the air out of efforts to deal with most every other societal problem.

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I place a very large share of the blame on the doctors who prescribe them. My daughter had minor surgery and was given a VERY generous prescription for oxy. Thankfully, the first one made her nauseous and she recovered with over the counter tylenol and was just fine. How they could see fit to ban quaaludes but let this shit fly is sick.

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Like everything else a blame game occurs …
Opioids work extremely well at what they are meant for . The end user abusing them is not a case for banning them or making them more restrictive than they already are …Making them even harder to obtain when needed is punishing those that truly need them for the right reasons .
Pain is subjective and varies from person to person (tolerance) …
A doctor should assume you are being truthful when it comes to pain . The lack of accountability by the end user and the families that blame the Doctors is mind boggling when abuse occurs .
The parents who leave these scripts within reach of youth are also very much the issue along with plain ignorance to the addictive nature & qualities of the meds and how they should be kept under lock and key or disposed of when no longer needed .

Pretty much word for word what Rush Limbaugh used to say.

I don’t ever listen to Rush Limbaugh but if it’s what he said he was spot on …Like in your case you would be heartbroken and pissed should your Daughter have needed something stronger but you were denied them for her use while she was recovering …because others abused them.
They should be an option and available if your daughter needed them …she didn’t or reacted badly and you made use of over the counter alternatives …Did you leave the opioids sitting on her dresser ? Did you leave them in a medicine cabinet to be abused later ? If you did the right thing you dissposed of them or they are safely locked away.

Yep, Rush was right all the way to becoming an addict. A whole bottle was tossed because I don’t want anyone taking them. And the reason why we have a problem in this country is the same reason why you can’t beat covid the same way other countries do, because we are a country of people who live by their own rules. Pain IS subjective and does vary, so does addiction. I have watched a friend who was an attorney lose everything, and she never had anything from her past that said this could even be a possibility. In 2015 more people died from opiod overdose than homicide. That rate has dropped but I believe it is still more than 14,000 a year, which is about 40% more than people who die from drunk driving fatalities. Ever had a drug explained to you by the pharmacist? Well, there’s 15 seconds of your life you’ll never get back. Did anyone tell my daughter anything about the harm associated with abuse of the drug? Guess not.

The truth behind what you say or the facts are spot on …That does not change anything I said . Rush Limbaugh was the problem , your Attorney friend was the problem …The individual who chooses to make the wrong choice is the problem …Every pill they took when not needed for blocking pain and taken for other reasons were choices made …choices made by addicts .

Opioids are incredible, wonderful, needed drugs that work phenomenally… because they do, they are highly addictive and abused …It’s an issue that I’m more than aware about that I have dealt with myself … Pulling the wool over the eyes of an over caring or lazy Doctor is an easy task…
The bottom line is the person who does the abusing is doing so at full awareness and make the choice to do so …My issue or the abuse by others should never impact the value they have and the availability for people because we make bad choices …

While I agree the drugs should be available to those with physical pain that requires something that strong to alleviate, your characterization of how addiction works is really “the problem”. Your attitude leads to the war on drugs. People self-medicate most often because they have wounds that are not physical in nature. And people who want to throw them in jail because they resort to a drug are not only frequently hypocrites (see Rush Limbaugh), they are often just plain ignorant.

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Few people realize that they are “this close” to being one of those addicts
There are many more addictive personas walking around than turn into a problem
Emotional immaturity is rampant

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The numbers I quoted are for the people who died, it doesn’t take into account the living addicts whose lives are ruined as well as those around them. How do you measure THAT pain and what pill fixes that?

The number thrown around in 2016 was that 80% of the world’s opioid consumption was by users in the USA. That indicates serious healthcare issues, IMO. Docs over-prescribed this stuff like it was little more than tylenol.

That’s it then . We are on the same page …

I did not attempt to characterize how addiction works only that the Opioid is delivering a perceived solution or remedy because of the reaction experienced when taken …

I never discussed incarceration or why people self medicate …The key is self …Individual choices made to either use the medication correctly or abuse it . The medication is no more the problem than an a Fudge Cake is.
To a obese person with an eating issue Cake is a problem but for the masses a non issue …Yes it is simplifying it but at the same time the truth …abuse it and it’s an issue .

Um, yes you did attempt to characterize addiction the first time, you are doing it again here. You don’t really know what you’re talking about.

Go ahead and quote me… that’s not remotely the case. The tool of abuse ( Opioid or Cake ) I mention has nothing do with …the why .

95% of human behavior operates at a sub-conscious level. So, it’s not so-and-so is addict by personal choice; i.e., they “choose” to do that behavior. Yeah, not so much in most cases.

You quoted me and those quotes do not support what you say or think I said .
If you reach into a pill bottle & take a pill and you obtain them in a fashion that is not legal or obtain them legally under false circumstances you are making choices …again… The why …is a different ball game … No one on the planet on a sub-conscious level opens a pill bottle and abuses or obtains opioids . Being an addict is not a choice it’s a reaction. 9 times out of 10 due to choices made unless they were forced down your throat unwillingly

You don’t get it, but carry on.