Opioid abuse is a complex problem with tragic and staggering consequences. It has recently gained prominence because of federal and state initiatives, as well as increased coverage by the media.
I write this post because I tried to make sense of the various reports I read, and realized that it may be necessary to take a more holistic view of the problem for a meaningful result to be achieved.
By way of introduction, I feel duty bound to point out that because I am not a doctor there may be certain gaps in the analysis.
That said, the basic starting point and most relevant question is why the United States prescribes more opiate drugs on a per capita basis than any other nation in the world. The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world\’s population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids and 99 percent of the world\’s hydrocodone (the ...