Another disturbing statistic hits the headlines today, as a study shows that 27% of Americans know someone or are themselves addicted to painkillers.
This comes in the wake of other similarly disturbing topics this week, like increased infant mortality in the weekends, increased traffic accidents for the disabled, and an increase in the overall alcohol consumption for women in the past years.
This new study comes to show that more and more people are getting addicted to over-the-counter painkillers. Organized by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the poll shows that over 27% of American citizens were at some point, or still are addicted to painkillers, or they personally know someone who is.
This might not come as a shock to some, as a different study shows that drug-induced deaths, more specifically cause by overdoses, are the overtaking road traffic accidents as a leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
More interesting, although, again, possibly not surprising to some given other recent statistics, the leading ethnical group in painkiller addiction is, by far, the whites. With 63% of white people having been addicted or knowing someone addicted to painkillers, they overshadow the other ethnical groups. African-Americans come in second place with 44%, while Hispanics come in third with a “modest” 37%.
Since the poll was an observational study, no actual causes of addiction have been made obvious, more research having to be made in order to establish a cause and effect relationship. However, as always, multiple parties are chipping in, coming up with potential causes.
The most upsetting fact, besides the actual mortality and addiction numbers, would be that the different political factions have started blaming each other for the issue, trying to put their motions forward, and ignoring a serious, life-threatening problem prevalent among American citizens.
With the Republicans blaming the state governments for their painkiller laws, and the Democrats blaming the federal government, nobody seems to be doing anything about the increasingly worrisome numbers.
Another part of the poll showed that location was a major part of the problem, with people in rural area showing a much larger propensity to being addicted to some form of painkiller or other.
The situation is dire. With 4 out of 10 Americans being addicted to or knowing someone addicted to painkillers, nobody except for the public seems to care. People are requesting better care for those afflicted with a painkiller addiction, or maybe even stricter regulation laws regarding their distribution.
The matter is clear in one respect, however, as until someone actually takes the issue and makes it public, nothing can and nothing will be done about this plague troubling the American populous.