The independent research group Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has determined that opioid drugs have killed more Americans than the 19-year Vietnam war.
The Vietnam war responsible for 58,200 deaths in 19 years and six months, but opioids killed 64,070 Americans in 2016 alone.
While homicides and car accident deaths have fallen dramatically since 1980, drug overdoses have skyrocketed and far surpassed not only car accidents and homicides in U.S. causes of death, but far outstrips the peak of the AIDS crisis, and suicides as well.
In fact, over the last 50 years, drug addiction and overdose has become the most deadly issue the country has ever faced.
CDC data from August shows US drug overdose deaths increased 21 percent in a single year. The current drug overdose death level is double the same rate from just a decade ago, and 75% of those deaths were from opioids.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old.
Many are blaming pharmaceutical companies for the big money deals with doctors and healthcare facilities increasing the use of expensive and addictive opioids to all sectors of the society.
In case you didn’t know, there is a government website you can search to find out how much money pharmaceutical companies are giving to doctors in the United States. If your doctor has ever written a prescription for you, you might be interested in what you find.
For example, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, spent a total of $10,977,788 in payments. According to the website, almost 60% of these payments were spent on “compensation for services other than consulting, including serving as faculty or as a speaker at a venue other than a continuing education program.”
Here are some cause of death statistics to compare with the 58,200 U.S. deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2016:
– Car crash deaths in 2015 (35,092)
– The entire course of the Vietnam War (58,200)
– AIDS-related deaths in 1995, the worst year of the epidemic (50,628)
– Homicides in 1991, the peak year thus far (24,703)
– Suicides, which hit an all-time high in 2015 (44,193)
There are nearly 100 deaths per day from opioids, and it’s about to get worse. According to an analysis conducted by STAT, opioids may claim nearly half a million lives in the next decade. The analysis involved public health experts at 10 universities throughout the United States and more than 40 interviews conducted with politicians and leading medical professionals.
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