June 18th, 2017


A letter that started a crisis

Millions have been affected, and tens of thousands die every year from the so called opioid crisis in the US. Preliminary data shows that last year drug overdose has killed well over 62 thousand people in America, a 19% increase. And the problem keeps deepening. It has become the leading reason for mortality among Americans under 50 years of age, NYT reports. In comparison, car accidents have killed about 40 thousand people, now giving up the top spot in the ranking, the NSC reports as well. And this, despite the fact that 2016 was the deadliest year in terms of car accidents. (.pdf)


The number of overdose deaths has been constantly growing since the 80s, when it was under 10 thousand annually. The problem has more to do with illegal drugs than the legal sales of pain-relief drugs. For the last 3 decades, both the US and Canada have developed a mass practice of prescribing painkillers based on opioid alcaloids. This happened after fierce lobbying and advertisement campaigns from several big pharmaceutical corporations that declared "war on pain and suffering". In result, millions of people have become addicted to strong painkillers. There is now talk of an opioid crisis in North America the size of an epidemic.

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