Opioid Crisis: DEA Database Released
Within a span of only 7 years, the US was flooded with 76 billion opiate pills. That is insane! We’ve all seen someone affected by the opioid addiction crisis, and some recently made public information can help us see why.
A federal court just released part of a DEA database that tracked every opiate pill sold in the US, from their creation to the pharmacy. The data is from 2006-2012, so you can imagine the number above could be even higher for the 7 years since then. This is part of an ongoing case alleging conspiracy by the manufacturers and distributors to saturate the market in hopes of driving up sales. Oh yeah, only 3 companies made 88% of those pills.
We know Oxycodone (found in Oxycontin and Percocet) and Hydrocodone (Norco and Vicodin) are sold on the street and pretty easy to find. It’s also easy to make the connection between the volume of pills and the ease of getting them by addicts. If there weren’t so many pills out there, they would be a lot harder to buy. Distribution of these pills was geared heavier towards rural areas of the US where addiction rates tend to be higher, allegedly in hopes that people in those areas would get hooked on them.
We decided to look at where opioid pills flooded into countries across the country and where there were the most deaths from those pills. Turns out those maps look quite similar. https://t.co/WNFp3mFHEt pic.twitter.com/CCbwJJbZ8z— Steven Rich (@dataeditor) July 18, 2019
Between 1999 and 2017, around 400,000 people died from an opioid overdose. These drugs are incredibly addicting and have been irresponsibly passed out like Pez to millions of people. Thankfully, awareness has been spreading and conversations about other relief methods are happening. Please have open and helpful talks with anyone you know who is using opiates recreationally, or has been using a prescription for longer than they likely need to.
Has your life been affected by the opiate crisis? Tell your story in the comments below. The more dialogue that happens, the better for everyone. Your story might help someone.