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Fri Dec 29, 2017, 04:32 PM

Why hasnt the opioid epidemic hit other countries? [View all]

For the second year in a row, life expectancy in the United States has dropped.

It is not hard to understand why: In 2016, there was a 21 percent rise in the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses, with opioids causing two-thirds of them. Last year, the opioid epidemic killed 42,000 people, more than died of AIDS in any year at the height of the crisis.

“We should take it very seriously,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. “If you look at the other developed countries in the world, they’re not seeing this kind of thing. Life expectancy is going up.”

In other words: In no other developed country are people taking and dying from opioids at the rates they are in the United States. We have about 4 percent of the world’s population but about 27 percent of the world’s drug-overdose deaths.

What explains the discrepancy?

The U.S. medical system.

Americans are prescribed opioids significantly more often than their counterparts in other countries. In the United States, 50,000 opioid doses are taken daily per every million residents. That is nearly 40 percent higher than the rate in Germany and Canada, and double the rate in Austria and Denmark. It is four times higher than in Britain, and six times higher than in France and Portugal. As the BBC put it, “American doctors prescribe — a lot.”

That is in large part a result of our health insurance structure. Unlike countries that provide universal health care funded by state taxes, the United States has a mostly privatized system of care. And experts say insurers are much more likely to pay for a pill than physical therapy or repeat treatments.

http://www.heraldnet.com/nation-world/why-hasnt-the-opioid-epidemic-hit-other-countries/

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Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Dec 2017 OP
shenmue Dec 2017 #1
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malaise Dec 2017 #3
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cannabis_flower Dec 2017 #21
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