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(NaturalNews) Many Americans would argue that the U.S. is the greatest nation on Earth, a beacon of freedom and hope for the rest of the world to emulate. But when it comes to mental and physical quality of life here in the States, America appears to rank near the bottom, as evidenced by the nation’s massive and growing addiction to pharmaceutical drugs and painkillers.

Though it often isn’t talked about, Americans consume most of the pharmaceutical drugs produced for the entire world, even though we represent a mere 5 percent of the global population. And when it comes to painkillers, Americans consume a staggering 80 percent of the global supply, with doctors prescribing more than 259 million scripts for painkillers annually.

These figures suggest that, behind the facade, Americans as a whole suffer from far more pain and disease than much of the rest of the world. Either that, or many Americans have become so depressed and hopeless that the only way they can cope with living is to constantly medicate themselves, a reality that seems to be reflected in the latest data sets.

Prescription drug overdose leading cause of acute preventable death in US

But rampant painkiller abuse is having a much more profound effect on people’s health than simply taking away their woes. According to data compiled by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, prescription drug overdose is now the leading cause of acute preventable death in America, exceeding even the death rate from car accidents.

Some of the most abused are high-level meds like oxycodone, which comes from a class of drugs known as opioids that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says are responsible for three out of every four drug overdose deaths. In 2010, opioid painkillers killed at least 16,651 people in the U.S., and that number is only continuing to rise year after year.

Written by Ethan A. Huff
Read more at Natural News

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