Data from a newly released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that nearly a quarter of a million Americans have died in the last two decades from overdosing on opioid drugs — a number four times the number of U.S. casualties from the entire Vietnam War. The research, which looked at drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2017, concluded that in 2017, there was a 9.6 percent increase in deaths than the previous year. Most of the deaths were attributed to the excessive consumption of synthetic opioids.
The danger is not limited to adults. Another recent study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine concluded that the number of opioid-related deaths among children has increased threefold. Researchers of this study said that while most of the deaths were caused by the intake of illegal opioid drugs, some children are still being harmed by prescription medicine.
As stated in an article posted on the website of the American Academy of Family Physicians:
Many commonly prescribed opioids do not come in childproof packaging. [Researchers] also warned that as [a] medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder increases among adults, children and adolescents will be more likely to be exposed to opioids such as methadone and suboxone unless more restrictive safety measures are put in place.
In yet another study, researchers wrote that premature death caused by opioids places a growing public health burden in the United States. In a 2018 study in JAMA Network Open, researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada concluded that:
- Between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in our country increased by 345 percent.
- By 2016, men accounted for 67.5 percent of all opioid-related deaths, with the mean age of men dying prematurely being 40 years old.
- Among adults aged between 24 to 45 years old who died in 2016, 20 percent died from an opioid overdose.
- Adults between the ages of 24 to 34 typically have 12.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.
- Similarly, those aged between 35 to 44 years old had 9.9 years of life lost per 1,000 population.
These numbers, shocking and disturbing as they are, fail to influence the decision-making processes of the officials elected to safeguard our health. In November 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved a controversial new opioid which was 10 times more powerful than fentanyl, despite heavy criticism that the drug would be a danger to public health.
Take note that fentanyl is already 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, and was initially synthesized to help alleviate pain in terminal cancer patients. The pop star icon Prince died at the age of 57 from accidentally overdosing on this drug. (Related: Painkiller Patch Fentanyl May Have Killed 3,500 People, Warns FDA.)
So where is the outrage? We deliberately presented to you all the numbers, statistics, and data you need to make your own decisions about synthetic opioids. This, to increase your awareness that there may be a (not so) hidden move to hide the truth from you that natural alternatives, such as medical cannabis, may provide safer, and even more effective pain relief than what Big Pharma is offering.
Consider this: Plants like cannabis, which is considered a Schedule I drug whereas fentanyl is a Schedule 8 drug, are regularly demonized for being the reason why our kids die young. However, the CDC’s own data shows that the number of people who have died from this natural treatment is almost negligible, and their own scientists state that pharmaceutical painkillers are a thousand times more dangerous than natural ones.
Evidence also shows that medical cannabis is more superior at relieving pain than opioids.
We urge you to really think and do your research before you pop any type of pill. There may be natural alternatives to deal with your condition — and remember, these options may be less risky too.