”The Prescription Opioid Epidemic & Other Public Health Issue Facing The US” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest – far from it. In fact, the US faces more seemingly intractable health problems than most. Top of the list of health issues facing the US is the prescription opioid epidemic. For years, doctors have been prescribing patients opioid-containing pain management drugs in the hope of providing them with a more comfortable life. Unfortunately, people can develop dependencies on these drugs, which last long after the pain dissipates and can wreck their quality of life. I personally have a friend that struggled in the past with a pain killer pill addiction. Thankfully she sought help and overcame it but so many more people don’t. Figures presented in the following infographic show that more than 46 people in the US lose their lives every day to a prescription opioid-related incident. That is a staggering 16,000+ people a year.
Unfortunately, opioids aren’t the only issue that the country faces. Other significant challenges include the diabetes epidemic, obesity, alcohol abuse, heart disease, and stroke. Heart disease is still the top killer in the US. Most of us have at least one family member or friend that is affected by it.
Are there any solutions?
While the solutions aren’t easy, there is hope on the horizon. First, medical professionals are becoming better trained in how to deal with the diseases and afflictions of the modern era. They better understand how to use drugs and get people off them when they no longer provide benefits.
Second, technology is improving. We’re learning more about the kinds of foods that we should eat and new medications that can tackle chronic disease.
Third, public information programs are improving. The majority of people, for instance, know that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dependency.
Read more about the major public health issues facing the the US and how public health professionals are working to improve the health of Americans in the infographic below from the University of Nevada.
Infographic by University of Nevada-Reno