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A study by St. Michael’s Hospital of Toronto published in June found that one in five deaths among young adults in the United States is now related to opioid drugs.
The horrifying dimensions of the crisis loomed over an FDA hearing this week where chronic pain advocates and patients warned that focusing on prescription drugs will add unnecessary suffering to the death toll.
Science - Daily - St - Michael - Study
As summarized by Science Daily, the St. Michael’s study found “the percentage of deaths attributable to opioids in the U.S. increased by 292 percent from 2001 to 2016, with one in every 65 deaths related to opioid use by 2016.” Almost 70 percent of the dead were male.
Factoring in the youth of the victims, the authors calculated that “1,681,359 years of life were lost prematurely to opioid-related causes in 2016, which exceeds the years of life lost each year from hypertension, HIV/AIDS, and pneumonia in the U.S.”
Food - Drug - Administration - Hearing - Monday
The Food and Drug Administration held a hearing on Monday at which chronic pain advocates expressed concerns that people who truly need painkillers aren’t getting them because the stampede to Do Something about the opioid crisis is mistakenly targeting prescription drugs.
“We are sick with devastating pain conditions yet doctors will no longer treat us. We have been forced off opioid medications we have used appropriately that have helped us to function. We are suffering to the point that many of us are losing the will to live. Why don’t you hear our pleas and take action to stop this inhumane treatment?” asked Cindy Steinberg of the U.S. Pain Foundation.
USA - Today - FDA - Hearing - Sign
USA Today saw the FDA hearing as a hopeful sign that the federal government is considering input from chronic pain patients and is beginning to understand how ham-fisted controls on prescription drugs are causing more harm than good.
One remarkable fact disclosed in the article was...
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