In 2014, More Tennesseans Died from LEGAL Prescription Drugs than Car Accidents or Gunshots

pillageBy Justin Gardner

A shocking statistic has come out of Tennessee which further demonstrates the ludicrous nature of the U.S. approach to drugs.

“Legal” opioid drugs in the form of prescription pills killed more people in 2014 than did vehicle accidents or gunshots. At least 1,263 Tennesseans died from opioid overdose, continuing a steady increase over the years—figures that doctors are calling epidemic proportions.

Dubbed “hillbilly heroin,” the government-sanctioned Big Pharma products are easily available on the street, from $5 a pill for Hydrocodone to $80 a pill for OxyContin. One doctor described how people would get prescribed painkillers after visiting the emergency room and then sell them in the parking lot.

ER visits from opioid overdose are so common that a Columbia hospital received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services that will get a temporary antidote called naloxone into rural areas. They even want to prescribe naloxone to people living with an abuser in case of overdose.

The abuse of prescription painkillers often escalates to heroin use, which brings its own array of health hazards.

Physicians are proposing new guidelines and treatment plans to address the epidemic, suggesting that curbing the number of pills prescribed is part of the solution. This is heartening, considering that many doctors act as pill pushers on behalf of Big Pharma who line their pockets.

Naturally, government is attacking the problem with more rules and regulations, including their Dangerous Drugs Task Force. One result of this approach has been an increase in the number of people turning to heroin.

Despite their efforts, the state remains a leader in deaths from opioid overdose.

Tennessee’s situation is a symptom of a much larger malady in government, beginning decades ago with the War on Drugs.

Psychoactive substances such as cannabis and psychedelics were banned as Schedule 1 drugs with risk of addiction and no medical benefit. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies in bed with lawmakers addicted the nation with laboratory-made drugs, bringing untold billions in profit to the industry and politicians.

The War on Drugs effectively halted research on using cannabis and psychedelics to treat medical and psychological conditions. But now, as prohibition begins to crumble, studies are confirming the potential for cannabis and psychedelics to treat ailments, instead of pharmaceuticals that cause a myriad of harmful side effects and death by overdose.

Image Credit: Anthony Freda, “Pillage”

Justin Gardner writes for

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