Thursday, February 21, 2013

The addiction machine

According to a recent report, addiction to prescription pain medication is on the rise.  Deaths from opioid overdose are up again for the eleventh consecutive year. 

That can mean one of three things: there are more people in pain, the drugs are being made increasingly available, or the need to blunt the psychological impact of reality is becoming increasingly urgent.

I vote for the latter.

The question I have is why—of all problems that loom—should this be a major concern?  It seems like I can’t turn on the radio without hearing a PSA about prescription addiction.  Prescription opioid addiction is hardly a new phenomenon.  Why all the recent media hype?

It is interesting to note that the increased attention to opioid addiction corresponds almost exactly with the recent development of new pharmaceutical treatment options.


The pharmaceutical companies brew an addictive agent, push to make it readily available so that it can be overprescribed, and then: "Oh, by the way, we have these great new treatment drugs." 

No need to connect the dots here.

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