Prescription painkillers have now taken the infamous honor of being the number one cause of accident deaths in the U. S. Traffic deaths have fallen to the number two cause.
The shift actually took place in 2008 when there were 41,000 accidental American deaths due to painkillers and 38,000 deaths due to traffic accidents.
According to IO9.com, “There’s little doubt that deaths by vehicle accidents are on the decline, but it does not compare to the sharp rise of poisonings. During the past three decades, the poisoning rate has tripled from where it was in 1980, while motor vehicle deaths decreased by almost one-half over the same time. And from 1999 to 2008, the poisoning death rate increased 90%, while the motor vehicle traffic death rate decreased 15% … Because of the epidemic, a number of pharmacies are refusing to stock painkillers on account of a dramatic rise in armed robberies. Addicts, who suffer from awful withdrawal symptoms, are desperate to get their hands on these drugs, causing them to take rash action. Since 2006, there has been an 82% rise in pharmacy robberies – from 385 in 2006 to 701 in 2011 – and over 3,500 pharmacies have been hit.”
Eastern Europe seems to have the solution where opioids are harder to come by, being more restricted by the governments and being in shorter supply. Prescription drug use in general in less in Europe than it is in the U. S. and that goes for addiction, too.