November 2, 2011
More Americans died in 2008 from pharmaceutical painkiller overdose than fatalities from illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin combined. Responsible for nearly 15,000 deaths in 2008, prescription painkillers have become wildly popular among Americans. The news comes after a previous report found drugs to outnumber traffic accidents in fatalities. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, as of last year more than 12 million were on prescription painkillers purely for the high they cause instead of their intended medical purpose.
Many of these individuals obtain the drugs by eliciting prescriptions from several doctors, known as ‘doctor shopping’ within the community. Others purchase them from underground drug rings and illegal online pharmacies, bringing the ingredients into question. It is no wonder that the amount of painkillers made available at pharmacies and even doctors’ offices has quadrupled from 1999 to 2010. In fact, the CDC has blamed irresponsible doctors for unnecessarily prescribing painkillers to patients who do not need them:
“More of a problem is now created by a few irresponsible doctors than drug pushers on street corners,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters in a phone briefing.
The issue is very similar to the current problems surrounding antipsychotic drugs. With 50% of all Americans to be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime, antipsychotic drugs have become the most popular therapeutic class drug. Even as experts speak out against antipsychotics in a similar manner to how many are raising awareness against prescription pain medication, it seems that the medical establishment has ignored the evidence.
“The system is awash with opioids, drugs that get people hooked and keep them hooked,” Frieden said.
In 27 years, there have been 3 million deaths from prescription drugs, and 0 from vitamins. Prescription drugs come with up to 525 negative side effects, with around 70 being the average. Avoiding these drugs and utilizing high quality organic alternatives like whole food-based multivitamins and green superfoods will lead to a total health transformation without harsh side effects and an exponentially increased death risk.