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The day that brought pain and tragedy to america

A celebrity is rumored to have died of a drug overdose and the world mourns. And, of course, media outlets and the public in general become aware—ever so briefly—that we, as a country, are in the midst of a drug crisis—more specifically an opiate abuse and overdose epidemic. The celebrity deaths, while horrible, can help raise awareness to a larger societal problem.

According to the CDC 78 Americans die every single day of an opiate drug overdose—and over half of those deaths are from doctor-prescribed opiate pain medications like Percocet allegedly the medication found with PrinceVicodin, Oxycontin and Fentanyl.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Of those deaths, a whopping 18,893 overdose the day that brought pain and tragedy to america were related to prescription pain relievers. That number is roughly the same number as a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Even more unsettling than those statistics is the trend: In 25 years, the opiate death rate has quadrupled. The not so shocking corollary to that horrible trend?

Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U. Can we see a connection? It is readily apparent that the more pain prescriptions doled out, the more people seem to be dying from prescription overdoses.

But why is there this exponential increase in opiate prescriptions—are we in so much more pain as a country? According to the day that brought pain and tragedy to america, there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. What there has been is an increase in the influence and growth of pharmaceutical companies that are developing ever-more powerful medications that numb pain and that can get people hooked. By all accounts, Prince was one of those people who, as a result of the pounding that his hips and knees took with his dynamic performances, was indeed in chronic pain.

Indeed, many medical doctors will tell you that during their six years of medical school training, one or perhaps two days are devoted to addiction training.

America’s drug crisis: When will we wake up to the tragedy of the opiate epidemic?

Compounding the problem, there is no the day that brought pain and tragedy to america way for a physician to measure pain: So it becomes increasingly difficult for a doctor to discern the genuine pain management patient with the addicted opiate addict exaggerating their pain to manipulate getting another prescription.

We have a problem. Yes, we all know of the famous heroin overdoses—heroin has become the drug most commonly associated with images of drug addiction and death in the public psyche. Let us mourn Prince. But let us also mourn all of the other 78 people who will die today of an opiate drug overdose and let us, as a nation, ask our doctors to be more careful and to educate us more about the medications that they are prescribing to us or our loved ones.