I always wondered the reasons why Drugs are so abused in America while they are not abused as much in any other country of the world ?

We are all witnessing an epidemic of drug use in America with 72,000 drug related deaths from drug overdose in 2017. Looking at the available statistics worldwide, nothing compares to the amount of drug use we have in America. Not even close. Why is that ? Is it an economic factor ? is it the pharmaceutical business  pushing the drugs ? is it Doctors pushing the drugs ? Please explain. Thanks

Super User Asked on October 4, 2018 in Drugs.
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3 Answer(s)

This is quite a tricky one. Very few people are really open to explaining why they continue to abuse drugs and even if those who seek help (in treatment and rehabilitation) were to be transparent about why they abused drugs, their numbers are almost negligible compared to the overall population that abuses drugs (including those who never bother to seek help). Statistics can therefore accurately show the numbers of people abusing drugs, and perhaps how much of drugs have been abused based on how much is manufacture, and how much is used with appropriate prescription, but establishing the reasons as to why the abuse is on the rise is not so easy.

However, studying the social, economic, political and general health of our demography, there are obvious markers and innuendos we can base upon to approximate the reasons that have kicked-up the numbers of drug abusers in the US.

Possible Major Reason

The most obvious potential explanation is the rise in chronic pain leading to an increase in opioid prescriptions, which has paved a path to heroin abuse and addiction.

At some point, Americans began suffering from chronic pain at higher levels than ever before. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that 11.2 percent of American adults experience chronic pain and 17.6 percent struggle with severe pain. An estimated 126 million Americans reported some level of pain, according to the organization’s data. When you consider that prescription painkillers are the most likely remedy to be prescribed to these adults and that prescription drug abuse is the strongest risk factor for heroin abuse or addiction, the correlation becomes clearer.

The only question is “Why should the solution – in America – be drugs“? Because whatever challenges we face, be it pain (psychological or physical) affects other people in other nations too, what do they do differently, and how come our drug abuse numbers are so high? I believe this requires a change of attitude on how we approach our pains.

Striking Statistics – (Changing our attitude and remolding how we seek help)

There was a time in our history—not so long ago—when smoking was cool, when seat belts were for sissies and when AIDS was seen as a death sentence for gay sex. Today our attitudes are profoundly different—with powerful and beneficial consequences. Smoking has been cut sharply, and so have the related deaths from lung cancer and heart disease. Auto safety measures have curbed the highway death and injury rate. AIDS is recognized as a serious illness rather than a social curse.

In all three cases, we fundamentally changed our attitudes and, as a result, took actions that greatly improved the quality of life for millions of people.

The time has come for a fundamental change in our attitude about the pervasive and pernicious role drug and alcohol abuse play in our society and a revolution in the way we deal with it.

Americans, comprising only 4 % of the world’s population, consume 2/3 of the world’s illegal drugs. The number of illegal drug users, which had dropped from a high of 25.4 million in 1979 to a quarter century low of 12 million in 1992, rose to 20.4 million in 2006. The number of teen illegal drug users, which had dropped from its 1979 high of 3.3 million to a low of 1.1 million in 1992, more than doubled to 2.5 million in 2006.

The America population needs to be educated right from schools, to work places, and to deeper remote communities that there are better alternatives for any life challenges, besides drugs.

Moderator Answered on October 6, 2018.
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Thank you Moderator for your answer. What you said makes total sense and I never thought about it that way until you mentioned it. Now that I reflect on you answer, it is completely logical. The reason for this epidemic of drug abuse is coming from the fact that every physical and mental problem – big and small- are automatically treated with drugs, massive amounts of drugs, mountains of drugs. If you say you have pain somewhere, chances are than most doctors will prescribe anything you want. Wooooowwwwww, now I get it !

It is very strange because in Europe, even if your hurt and you have pain, even bad pain, you are out of luck because very seldom a European doctor will write a prescription for pain meds. You really have to be on your death bed to get pain relief. They will try everything else first. Trust me because I experienced it. Doctors in Europe are very skeptical of pain meds because of they are worried about addiction.

I guess it is a different approach and a different philosophy between European medicine and US medicine.

Super User Answered on October 6, 2018.

Sorry about your experience in Europe 🙂 but I think they did you a great favor, and despite the situation, I believe you managed to pull through. It could be a matter of opinions and differences in preferences, but let’s face it, isn’t the European Protocol on usage of drugs (pain killer prescription) better than the US regarding long term effects?

on October 9, 2018.
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Yeah this is great to know. I also think its about each individual taking care of their health. I for one, do not ever like to use drugs for pain and I can testify no matter how sick I get for the last 8 years, I’ve not swallowed a pill but in most cases, doctors prescribe them for me and I simply ignore the pain killers as I prefer to have as few drugs in my system as possible and I always imagine the side effects could be more long lasting and harmful than the relief I would expect. Reading through these answers, I now understand I’m still on the right track. I think before our doctors get to the Europe Doctors’ level, we need to have discipline about our health on an individual basis too. Thanks for sharing!!

Regular User Answered on October 6, 2018.

I concur, utilizing pain killers should be reserved for serious pains rather than every ache we face.

on October 9, 2018.
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