Now the drugs don't work, they just make you worse November 28, 2012 7:00 PMSubscribe
Rapid Growth Seen in Addiction to PainkillersThe escalating use and abuse of powerful painkillers can be found in rich societies from the UK, across Europe to the antipodes. But the country that really knows all about prescription pill excess, and the human toll it claims, is the US. Americans make up less than 5% of the global population but consume 80% of the world's supply of opioid prescription pills. The more pills handed out, the more cases of addiction; the more cases of addiction, the more illegal street trafficking of the drugs; the more illegal street trafficking, the more snorting and injecting of the crushed pills; the more snorting and injecting, the more overdoses; the more overdoses, the more deaths. The result is that about 15,000 Americans are dying every year from prescription pill overdoses – triple the rate of a decade ago, according to the US government body the Centres for Disease Control, which has declared the problem an epidemic. The death toll exceeds that caused by heroin and cocaine combined, and in 17 states has become the No 1 killer, surpassing even car crashes.