Recently, the President came out and stopped just short of saying that the overdose crisis in America was a national emergency. He did speak about the need to stop these deaths and combat the problem, but offered no real solutions beyond the same sentiments that have been re-iterated ad nauseam. Everyone is talking about the numbers of fatalities…no one is talking about the people behind those numbers or how to really get at the root of the problem.
The number of people who are now taking prescription pain relievers is higher than it ever has been. Part of the reason may be attributed to the fact that there are so many different types of medications available now. Pharmaceutical companies are churning out new pain relievers on a regular basis. Why is this? Are there more people suffering pain than before or is there possibly other reasons?
One reason may boil down to simple profit margins. These medications are extremely lucrative and physicians may also receive a kickback for suggesting and prescribing certain medications. These drugs are also dangerously habit forming. When patients run out of the numbers of refills, they are then left searching for alternative methods to relieve their pain. Unfortunately many of those alternatives are not only illegal but are often deadly. Again, profits rule the decision making process for even the street dealer since mixing other substances into these illegal narcotics can stretch supplies regardless of the disasterous aftermath for many of these desperate customers.
But again, this does not answer the question of why are people seeking more prescriptions for pain? Life has not gotten more physically demanding for most of the working public. Automation and technology have reduced much of the manual labor that may have caused serious injuries and pain in the past. So why do more people seem to be suffering? Could it be in large part, an emotional need that is going unfulfilled? Families are more fractured in today’s society than ever before. Many couples are having children without committing themselves through marriage first. While this may indeed be a personal choice, it also tends to lead to a feeling of disconnection to those with whom we share our lives.
Along with the trend of skipping marriage and commitment there is the influence of social media. This actually tends to erect barriers in our lives rather than help us connect with each other. Meeting through cyber space is no substitute for personal relationships. Regardless of how extensive our friend list may be, if there is no real interaction, then many tend to still feel alone in their would and in their pain.
So, possibly, if society could reach outward more and focus less on self, then maybe the pressing need to relieve pain could actually be diminished. This is not to discount the actual physical pain that people struggle with, but if there were more support systems in place and less isolation, then it may be that the pain we feel would be much more tolerable.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.