Drug Abuse: Painkiller Overdose Claims The Most Lives

Drug AbuseIt’s no secret that abuse of illegal drugs is a major problem. Millions — even billions — of lives get destroyed because of dependence. “Destroyed” is a relative term, though. Several users only get their lives derailed. Others aren’t so lucky. It’s why the likes of Ibogaine Clinic do whatever in their power to save and help addicts recover.

Crunching Numbers

Marijuana is the most used illegal substance in the world, with 3.8 percent of the population (158.8 million people) admitting to usage. Cannabis is used much more than cocaine and heroin. But this is not the problem, however. Millions may use and abuse marijuana, but rarely do people perish from its use. That distinction is reserved for painkillers.

Opioid-based painkillers like oxycontin, Vicodin, and codeine cause an estimated 78,000 deaths globally. Men in their 20s are more likely to abuse illegal substances, with Americans, Aussies, Brits, and Russians being the most chronic users. The age range can go up to as much as 54 years old, with men more likely to die from an overdose than women.

Why Is It Easy To Overdose On Painkillers?

Music icon Prince died from a painkiller overdose. Lots more lose their lives to the same substance. According to experts, prescription opioids are more potent if taken with other drugs, or if a user goes back to the habit after having a clean slate. One can call opioids “silent killers,” in the sense that their effects tend to stay dormant until the last moment.

An opioid high is like almost any other. What it does differently is that users develop a tolerance to it. Over time, the user feels like he needs more doses to achieve a similar effect. What he doesn’t realize is that the opioid slows down breathing gradually. It then reaches the point when it becomes deadly. Basically, the body gets starved of oxygen and the tissues die.

This may explain why over 1,000 opioid users get treated in emergency rooms for their addiction daily. Opioid users don’t really know they’re overdosing until it’s too late. They’re lulled into a sense of calmness, but the tolerance has built up that they take more without knowing. As a result, millions of lives get wasted on a regular basis.

It's ironic that the top killer drug is not even illegal. It's accessible to many people and slowly builds tolerance before killing.

About Faye Gonzales 1658 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.