In America, Prescription Drugs Have Become More Dangerous Than Illegal Ones

In America, Prescription Drugs Have Become More Dangerous Than Illegal Ones

The use and abuse of opioid painkillers in America has been compared to an epidemic by many, and with good reason. These drugs became increasingly prescribed beginning in the 1990s, when fighting chronic pain was a huge priority in the medical world. Many doctors have since over-prescribed these medications, which have been found to be addictive. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in America almost quadrupled despite the amount of pain reported by Americans staying around the same. Deaths from overdoses on these legal drugs continue to rise, as does the likelihood of painkiller addicts turning to heroin.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In 2014, legal painkillers were the biggest cause of drug overdoses in America. (0:01)

  • 2

    People who are addicted to prescription painkillers are 40 times as likely to be addicted to heroin. (2:02)

  • 3

    Research suggests that medical marijuana could be a much safer alternative to addictive opioids for treating some kinds of chronic pain. (2:50)

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