The Painful Truth According to @SteveTransform of @transformdrugs
“The drivers of drug dependence are a complex mix of social and cultural factors — including [such] inequality as poverty, as well as wider issues with education, mental health and social service provision. Problematic drug use tends to be a reflection of wider social wellbeing [sic] — which is obviously a much bigger challenge to address. So there is no single silver bullet solution, but redacting resources from enforcement into treatment and harm reduction and ending the criminalization of people who use drugs would be a good start.”
Transform is a nonprofit think tank that seeks laws to regulate drugs, both in the UK and in other developed countries.
Support for the potential relationship suggested by Rolles can be seen in these graphics:
Based on this data, a direct correlation between poverty rates and drug overdose rates cannot be drawn. But, it would be equally spurious to claim there is no relationship between poverty rates and drug overdoses, particularly in the Appalachian region and the American Southwest – the dark colors on both maps say it all.
Pain is an International Problem
Although many of us think of pain as a unique problem for those living in the United States, the painful truth is that pain is an international problem. One in five individuals in developed countries has chronic pain.
The number of people suffering from pain and requiring treatment for it has been increasing in all parts of the world, especially in countries that are making economic progress.
Reasons Why Pain is Occurring At Epidemic Proportions
Increased aging population with more severe arthritis and spinal degeneration, chemical and radiation induced pain in cancer survivors, the epidemic of obesity leading to more arthritic pain, and diabetes associated with peripheral neuropathy and increased conversion rate of acute to chronic pain are a few reasons why pain is occurring at epidemic proportions.
Yet effective and safe therapies are scarce-to-nonexistent in most countries, and worse in the United States. Opioids become the inexpensive default treatment that has contributed to the opioid crisis in multiple countries
The U.S. is Not Alone in Facing an Opioid Crisis
We have a great deal of company, in many parts of the globe, in facing an opioid crisis. Elsewhere, as here, the truth is that the solution lies in learning to better manage pain.
If we had better pain management education, and more treatment tools, then fewer opioids would be prescribed. Fewer people would, therefore, suffer from opioid abuse or would die of opioid overdoses.
The Painful Truth is that the root cause of the growing international opioid crisis is a colossal failure to recognize the pandemic of intractable severe and devastating pain. You can read more about the global realities of opioids and addiction here.