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Prescription Painkiller Crisis: Why Do Americans Consume 80 Percent Of All Prescription Painkillers?

Pills Prescription Painkillers - Public DomainIf Americans are so happy, then why do we consume 80 percent of the entire global supply of prescription painkillers?  Less than 5 percent of the world’s population lives in this country, and yet we buy four-fifths of these highly addictive drugs.  In the United States today, approximately 4.7 million Americans are addicted to prescription pain relievers, and that represents about a 300 percent increase since 1999.  If you personally know someone that is suffering from this addiction, then you probably already know how immensely destructive these drugs can be.  Someone that was formally living a very healthy and normal life can be reduced to a total basket case within a matter of weeks.

And of course many don’t make it back at all.  According to the CDC, more than 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2014.  Incredibly, those deaths represented 60 percent of all drug overdose deaths in the United States for that year

A report released by the US Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention (CDC) in January revealed that drug-overdose deaths reached a new high in 2014, totaling 47,055 people. Opioids, a type of powerful painkiller that requires a prescription, were involved in 60% of those deaths.

Many Americans that start out on legal opioids quickly find themselves moving over to heroin because it is often cheaper and easier to obtain, and the U.S. is now facing a tremendous epidemic of heroin abuse as well.  In fact, the number of Americans that die of a heroin overdose nearly quadrupled between 2000 to 2013.

Finally, the federal government has started to take notice of this crisis.  A bill was recently passed to spend more than a billion dollars over the next two year fighting this problem.

But as long as doctors are writing thousands upon thousands of new prescriptions for these painkillers each year, this crisis is not going to go away any time soon.

In the Appalachians, these prescription painkillers are commonly known as “hillbilly heroin“, and all of the attention that the New Hampshire primaries received focused a lot of attention on how this crisis is destroying countless numbers of lives up in the Northeast.  But one survey found that the states with the biggest problems with painkiller addiction are actually in the West

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a survey of approximately 67,500 people across the United States, found that the states with the highest rates of narcotic painkiller abuse were in the West – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

Unless you are about to die, I would very strongly recommend that you resist any attempt by your doctor to put you on these “medications”.  Just consider what happened to one stay-at-home mother named Norah Mangan

I am an educated, suburban wife and stay-at-home mother of four. Life had been good to me until a fateful visit with an orthopedic physician, my chief complaint being mild arthritic pain in my toes. My physician handed me the first of many monthly prescriptions for Oxycodone and what followed that appointment was a rapid descent into hell. Within six months, I had become a raving drug addict.

Before too long, Norah had to turn to means that were less than legal in order to keep fueling her addiction.  Her life was turned into a complete and utter disaster by drugs that were legally prescribed to her…

It wasn’t long before my legal monthly prescription fell woefully short in terms of keeping my life altering pain at bay. In the interest of not incriminating myself, I’ll simply share that when procured through other means, Oxycodone generally sells for one dollar per milligram. I was draining our savings and was out of my mind. I was so tortured that I didn’t care about the deterioration of my moral values, in fact, I didn’t even notice. It’s hard to imagine that in such a short period of time I had morphed from a Mrs. Cleaver, baking hot cinnamon buns in anticipation of my children’s arrival home from school, to Scarface crushing pills on the glass top of the executive desk in our home office while thinking to myself as I heard them arrive from school…why oh why are they home already?

You can read the rest of her amazing story right here

The truth is that we are the most drugged people on the face of the planet.  It has been estimated that 52 million Americans over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs in non-medical ways, and this problem gets worse with each passing year.

According to research that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 59 percent of all U.S. adults are currently on at least one prescription drug, and 15 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least five prescription drugs.  And the numbers are far worse for older Americans.  The following statistics come from one of my previous articles

According to the CDC, approximately 9 out of every 10 Americans that are at least 60 years old say that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month.

There is an unintentional drug overdose death in the United States every 19 minutes.

In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.

According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.

Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.

A shocking Government Accountability Office report discovered that approximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.

A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.

We are a deeply unhappy nation that has been trained to turn to pills as a “quick fix” for our hurt and our pain.

Yes, there are medical situations that call for prescription pain relievers.  But what we are seeing in America today goes far, far beyond that.  We are a nation of addicts that is always in search of a way to fill the gaping holes that we feel deep in our hearts.  This prescription pain killer crisis is just another symptom of a much deeper problem.

So what is the solution?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

We Might As Well Face It – America Is Addicted To Debt

Debt Tree - Public DomainCorporations, individuals and the federal government continue to rack up debt at a rate that is far faster than the overall rate of economic growth.  We are literally drowning in red ink from sea to shining sea, and yet we just can’t help ourselves.  Consumer credit has doubled since the year 2000.  Student loan debt has doubled over the course of the past decade.  Business debt has doubled since 2006.  And of course the debt of the federal government has doubled since 2007.  Anyone that believes that this is “sustainable” in any way, shape or form is crazy.  We have accumulated the greatest mountain of debt that the world has ever seen, and yet despite all of the warnings we just continue to race forward into financial oblivion.  There is no possible way that this is going to end well.

Just the other day, a financial story that USA Today posted really got my attention.  It contained charts and graphs that showed that business debt in the U.S. had doubled since 2006.  I knew that things were bad, but I didn’t know that they were this bad.  Back in 2006, just prior to the last major economic downturn, U.S. nonfinancial companies had a total of about 2.6 trillion dollars of debt.  Now, that total has skyrocketed to 5.8 trillion

Companies are sitting on a record $1.82 trillion in cash. That might sound impressive until you hear companies owe three times more – $5.8 trillion, according to a new report from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Debt levels are soaring at U.S. non-financial companies so quickly – total debt outstanding rose $650 billion in 2014, which is six times faster than the $100 billion in added cash.

So are we in better condition to handle an economic crisis than we were the last time, or are we in worse shape?

Let’s look at another category of debt.  According to new data that just came out, the total amount of student loan debt in the U.S. is up to a staggering 1.2 trillion dollars.  That total has more than doubled over the past decade…

New data released by The Associated Press shows student loan debt is over $1.2 trillion, which is more than double the amount of a decade ago.

Students are facing an average of $35,000 in debt, that’s the highest of any graduating class in U.S. history. A senior at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Jon Cheek, knows the struggle first hand.

“It’s been a pretty big concern, I work while I go to school. I applied for a bunch of scholarships and done everything I can to try and keep it low,” said Cheek.

And of course it isn’t just student loan debt.  American consumers have had a love affair with debt that stretches back for decades.  As the chart below demonstrates, overall consumer credit has more than doubled since the year 2000…

consumer credit outstanding

If our paychecks were increasing at this same pace, that would be one thing.  But they aren’t.  In fact, real median household income is actually lower today than it was just prior to the last economic crisis.

So American households should actually be cutting back on debt.  But instead, they are just piling on more debt, and the financial predators are becoming even more creative.  In a previous article,  I discussed how many auto loans are now being stretched out for seven years.  At this point, the number of auto loans that exceed 72 months is at an all-time high

The average new car loan has reached a record 67 months, reports Experian, the Ireland-based information-services company. The percentage of loans with terms of 73 to 84 months also reached a new high of 29.5% in the first quarter of 2015, up from 24.9% a year earlier.

Long-term used-vehicle loans also broke records with loan terms of 73 to 84 months reaching 16% in the first quarter 2015, up from 12.94% — also the highest on record.

When will we learn?

The crash of 2008 should have been a wake up call.

We should have acknowledged our mistakes and we should have started doing things very differently.

But instead, we just kept on making the exact same mistakes.  In fact, our long-term financial problems have continued to accelerate since the last recession.  Just look at what has happened to our national debt.  Just prior to the last recession, the U.S. national debt was sitting at approximately 9 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 18 trillion dollars…

National Debt

Our debt has grown so large that we will never be able to get out from under it.  This is something that I covered in my recent article entitled “It Is Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off All Of Our Debt“.  Because of our recklessness, our children, our grandchildren and all future generations of Americans are consigned to a lifetime of debt slavery.  What we have done to them is beyond criminal.  If we lived in a just society, a whole bunch of people would be going to prison for the rest of their lives over this.

During fiscal year 2014, the debt of the federal government increased by more than a trillion dollars.  But in addition to that, the federal government has more than seven trillion dollars of debt that must be “rolled over” every year.  In other words, the government must issue more than seven trillion dollars of new debt just to pay off old debts that are coming due.

As long as the rest of the world continues to lend us enormous mountains of money at ridiculously low interest rates, we can continue to keep our heads above the water.  But this can change at any time.  And once it does, interest rates will rise.  If the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was to return to the long-term average, we would very quickly find ourselves spending more than a trillion dollars a year just on interest on the national debt.

The debt-fueled prosperity that we are enjoying now is not real.  It is a false prosperity that has been purchased by selling future generations into debt slavery.  We have mortgaged the future to make our own lives better.

We are addicts.  We are addicted to debt, and no matter how many warnings we receive, we just can’t help ourselves.

Shame on you America.

Now THAT Is Cold – 19 Signs That America Is Becoming A Very Heartless Place

The economy is not the only thing that is wrong with America.  In order for a society to function smoothly, people need to be able to trust one another and be able to expect that most of their fellow citizens will behave in a somewhat civilized manner.  Unfortunately, we are starting to see the very fabric of our society slowly unravel all over the nation.  The truth is that America is becoming a very heartless place.  People simply do not care about one another the way that they used to in this country.  Of course there are many exceptions, but the reality is that millions of hearts are going cold from coast to coast.  In America today, we are more self-absorbed than ever, more self-centered than ever, and we are more isolated from others than ever.  Just think about the number of people that you personally interact with on a regular basis.  Unless you are involved with a very large organization such as a school or a church, it is probably a very limited number.  Our addiction to entertainment gives us the illusion of being connected to society, but the truth is that Americans spend less time personally interacting with one another than ever before.  Meanwhile, Americans are seemingly becoming more arrogant, more prideful, more angry, more brutal, more greedy and more addicted to pleasure than ever before.  When you combine millions of very cold hearts with an economy that is rapidly crumbling, that adds up to a whole lot of trouble in the years ahead.

Even government authorities are becoming heartless.  TSA agents and police officers are actually trained to “act tough” and to bark orders at us.  In the old days, you could reason with a police officer, but these days if you try to talk common sense with some of these thugs you will get tasered before you even realize what is happening.

The American people can see the deep corruption in Washington D.C. and throughout most of our other major institutions and they wonder why they should keep trying to do “the right thing”.

If our leaders are selfish and heartless, then it is only natural that millions of average Americans will follow their examples.

In America today, we are taught to hate one another.  Democrats are taught to hate Republicans and Republicans are taught to hate Democrats.  We are a deeply divided nation and our hearts are getting colder with each passing year.

Parents are becoming more cruel, thieves are becoming more bold and thugs are becoming more brutal.  Hate, anger and frustration are fueling some really twisted behavior all over the country.  America is changing, and not for the better.

The following are 19 signs that America is becoming a very heartless place….

#1 At one airport in Hawaii, TSA agents recently required one new mother to go to a public restroom and fill up the empty baby bottles she was carrying with breast milk before they would allow her to get on to her flight.  The following is how one local news station described the incident….

She claims agents told her she couldn’t take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty.

“I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women’s bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.

When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.

#2 One way that a society is judged is by how it treats children.  Unfortunately, stories such as the following one from Texas are becoming increasingly common in America today….

Texas authorities said Tuesday they removed 11 children from a crowded home where a registered sex offender lives after they found eight confined in a small, dark bedroom with restraints tying some to their beds.

Along with the children, 10 adults were living in the one-story, 1,700-square-foot home in Dayton, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said. One month after a raid on the house, authorities are still trying to determine how the children are related and why they were there, she said.

#3 Across the United States, there have been an increasing number of reports of teens randomly attacking people on the street for no apparent reason whatsoever.  In some cases, the victims are actually being pulled out of their vehicles.  The following recent example comes from Philadelphia….

IN A HORRIFIC assault in Center City on Saturday night, three teenagers who were spouting racial slurs pulled a man out of a cab to beat him. And when the cabdriver intervened to stop the assault, the teens turned their rage on him, police said yesterday.

#4 One man down in Arizona was recently charged with skinning and eating a cat.  He told authorities that he did it because he was “hungry”.

#5 In the Detroit area, an 86-year-old World War II veteran was recently brutally carjacked in the middle of the day at a gas station.  His leg was broken during the assault, and as he slowly crawled across the concrete parking lot many people walked by him and drove by him as if he was not even there.

#6 One 69-year-old woman down in Texas recently went without running water for six years and nobody ever helped her out until just recently.

#7 In Ohio, one man has been charged with raping three children that he adopted and with allowing other men to have sex with them as well.

#8 One man down in Texas was recently fined by the city government for not mowing the lawn of a house that he had already lost to foreclosure.

#9 These days thieves will steal anything that is metal that they think that they can resell.  In the Philadelphia area recently, there has been a rash of brass door knocker thefts.  Thieves have been going up and pulling them right off of the front doors of private homes.

#10 As the price of gasoline rises, gasoline thieves are becoming more creative.  The following is a recent example from the Tampa Bay area….

As gas thefts go, this one was deceptively elaborate.

Inside a blue Chevrolet Venture minivan, criminals had cut out a large hole in the floorboard and set up a portable pumping station, complete with power source, pump and plastic container.

The goal: to steal hundreds of gallons of gas pulled directly from the gas station’s underground storage tank and funneled into a plastic tank inside the van.

Gasoline thefts have become so common in Detroit that one city councilman wants to force gas station owners to hire security guards.

#11 One 29-year-old female tutor was recently arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy that she was supposed to be tutoring.

#12 The ACLU is trying to force one library district in Washington state to allow full public access to pornography on library computers – even if children will be walking by and able to see what is going on.

#13 In America today, a lot of parents are becoming extremely cruel.  Down in Alabama, one 9-year-old girl recently died after being forced by her mother and grandmother to run for three hours straight as punishment for lying about having eaten some candy bars.

#14 Some Americans have become so desperate that they are trying to get sent to prison on purpose.  For example, one ex-police officer in Georgia recently robbed a bank and allowed authorities to catch him so that he could get food, shelter and free medical care in jail.

#15 What can account for the rash of seemingly random violent crimes that we have been seeing lately?  Over near Seattle, an 88-year-old man and an 83-year-old woman were brutally attacked by a 31-year-old man armed with a crossbow and a hatchet for no apparent reason whatsoever….

Prosecutors say 31-year-old John Chase was walking down the highway when he saw Ralph Aldrich, 88, in his back yard. Detectives say Chase shot and killed Aldrich with a crossbow and then went inside the home and repeatedly hit 83-year-old June Aldrich with a hatchet.

#16 In America today, many people are so angry and so frustrated that even the slightest provocation can push them over the edge.  For example, one man in Georgia actually firebombed a Taco Bell because they did not put enough meat in his Chalupa.

#17 These days Americans are having a hard time feeling safe in their own homes.  Down in Maryland, one very sick home invader was recently sentenced to 100 years in prison for doing some very twisted things….

In one case, authorities said, he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl after breaking into her family’s Fort Washington home with a cinder block and forced her to pose nude on a bed as he took photographs and videos of her.  Authorities said in another case, Scott and an accomplice, Marcus Dermanellian Hunter – who has already pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges – held up a Bowie family at gunpoint in April 2009, used their debit cards to steal money from ATM machines and then stole a luxury car.

#18 In America today you never know who is going to come driving up to you on the street.  Most of the time people that you meet will be at least somewhat “normal”, but there is also a chance that the next strangers that you run into will be crack-fueled perverts.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to a Montana teacher named Sherry Arnold…

Spell and Waters had left Colorado days before the crime claiming they wanted work in eastern Montana and western North Dakota’s oil fields.

After smoking crack cocaine over the entire trip, Waters allegedly told Spell the drug ‘brought the devil out in him’ and began talking about kidnapping and killing a female, AP reports.

After they spotted Arnold, Spell claims that Waters told him to ‘grab the lady’ and pull her into their Ford Explorer as she jogged by.

After they got her into the Ford Explorer, they choked the life out of her and then buried her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

#19 In the Boston area, the FBI recently used a chainshaw to cut through the front door of one apartment during a raid.  They quickly subdued the woman living inside and had her on the floor for 35 minutes as her young daughter cried out to her.  Eventually they figured out that they had the wrong apartment and they issued a “routine apology” to the woman.

As our country falls apart all around us, there is going to be a greater need for love and compassion than ever before.

Don’t count on the government to help those in need.  The government always does  a miserable job of that.

As I have written about previously, already more than 40 percent of all children in Atlanta and more than 50 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty.

In the years ahead those numbers are going to get even worse.

But it isn’t just in the major cities where poverty is exploding.  Sadly, today one out of every four children in the United States is on food stamps.

As times get tough, you have two choices.

You can allow your heart to grow cold like so many other people are doing.

Or you can decide that you are going to become more loving and more compassionate than ever before.

America is becoming a very heartless place, and unfortunately there is no sign that trend is going to turn around any time soon.

But you don’t have to become heartless.

Be a light that shines in the darkness.

In the end, you will be glad that you were.

Number One? 20 Not So Good Categories That The United States Leads The World In

Is the United States “number one”?  Many Americans take deep pride in their nation and the truth is that the U.S. has a lot going for it.  The United States has the largest economy in the world.  The United States also has the most powerful military on the entire planet.  The United States has produced most of the greatest movies that the world has ever seen.  But the United States is also number one in a lot of categories that are not go great.  If we ever want to turn this country around, we need to be very honest with ourselves.  We need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that it is not a good thing that we are number one in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes.  We have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay.  Until we understand just how bad our problems really are, we won’t be able to come up with the solutions that we need.

A lot of people that write articles like this have a deep hatred for America.  But that is not the case with me.  I love the United States.  I love the American people.  America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs.  America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

If you do not believe that America is in bad shape, just read the list below.  The following are 20 not so good categories that the United States leads the world in….

#1 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

#2 According to NationMaster.com, the United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world.

#3 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

#4 The United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

#5 The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#6 There are more car thefts in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world by far.

#7 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#8 There are more reported murders in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#9 There are more total crimes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#10 The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world.

#11 The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth.

#12 The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet.

#13 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.

#14 Americans have more student loan debt than anyone else in the world.

#15 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe.  89 percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.

#16 The United States has the largest trade deficit in the world every single year.  Between December 2000 and December 2010, the United States ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars with the rest of the world, and the U.S. has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.

#17 The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does.  In fact, U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

#18 The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country does.

#19 The United States has the most complicated tax system in the entire world.

#20 The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse.  Right now, U.S. government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second.

So are you convinced that we are in trouble yet?

The truth is that America has changed.  Most of us don’t even say hello to our neighbors anymore.

In fact, we have become so self-involved that many of us don’t even notice when someone around us dies.

Just consider the following two examples.

*USA Today recently reported on the body of a dead woman that was not found for approximately a year even though a whole bunch of people walked right past the car where she died….

Bank contractors, inspectors and even the new owner of a foreclosed home walked past the silver Chevy Nova in the garage numerous times before discovering the former homeowner — dead on the front seat.

*In an even more shocking case, the CBS affiliate in Boston recently reported that a dead woman was lying on the bottom of a public pool for two days while large numbers of people swam right over her.  How in the world could something like this possibly happen?….

It’s a mystery as murky as the water at Veteran’s Memorial swimming pool in Fall River public pool: how did swimmers, lifeguards, or inspectors not notice a woman’s body at the bottom of the pool for a few days?

Marie Joseph, 36, was last seen at the pool on Sunday. The pool was open to the public Monday and Tuesday with six lifeguards on duty, and no one noticed the body under 12 feet of water.

Most Americans have become so self-involved that they barely even notice anyone other than their family and close friends.

The love of most Americans is growing cold and when the collapse of the U.S. economy happens it is just going to make things worse.  Instead of working as a community, most Americans will only be concerned with making sure that their own needs are taken care of.

The United States was once the most blessed nation on the face of the earth, but now we are literally falling to pieces.

Does anyone have any ideas about why this could be happening?

 

Finca Bayano

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