Pill Overkill

Pill Overkill Painkiller abuse has reached epidemic levels in the US. Opioids now cause more deaths than any other drug, raising the question: are doctors and pharmaceutical companies acting in their patients' best interests?

Opiods are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year making them the most lethal drugs in America. For many, what starts as a prescription for legitimate illnesses quickly becomes an addiction to drugs marketed as "non-addictive" by big pharmaceutical companies. "I knew people that were just going to doctors, multiple doctors, and getting crazy amounts of pills", says former addict Danny Haley. Like many others, he became hooked on the legal drugs containing oxycodone, which make these painkillers very similar to heroin. When the authorities cracked down on easy prescriptions, heroin addiction quickly took its place. From 2010 to 2012, Heroin related deaths increased 84% in New York City. Staten Island in New York was one of the first areas of modern American suburbia. Now it has one of the worst prescription drug problems in the US. Getting hold of heroin here is not only cheaper than sourcing opiate-based painkillers, it's just as quick and easy as ordering a pizza. A pattern of people with no history of drug abuse killed by their addictions has prompted outrage and lingering questions on the role of some doctors and pharmaceutical companies' role in the epidemic.

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