Drug overdose deaths in the last 20 years have quadrupled; isn’t it time to rethink the healthcare pill economy?
When we hear about the increase in overdose deaths in the USA, most of us think of Fentanyl, Opioids Heroin, or Meth. These data showed that 57 percent involved an opioid, 39 percent a stimulant, and 18 percent both. Of unintentional overdoses, 74 percent stemmed from illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamines. But 68 percent of intentional overdoses involved prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines, sedative-hypnotics, and opioids.
Drugs in American Healthcare are part of the system, that treats the symptoms, but does little to solve the person’s problems. Part of this has to do with our hub and spoke system that has marginalized primary care in favor of specialist visits. As a result, our overpriced system has according to a recent Washington Post article half of the Medicare population taking a minimum of four prescriptions daily.
While people are screaming about the high cost of prescription drugs, Amazon.com is moving into the healthcare space to offer healthcare consultations digitally at a low cost which is really a way of moving more drugs on to the marketplace. Is this really a healthcare solution or a way of moving more drugs into more people?
National Healthcare anyone?
One group has been talking about the idea that we should finally have a national healthcare system. While Medicare expansion may be a good idea, it has many of the problems that our current system has as the large money-making entities such as Insurers, Hospital systems, Wall Street takeover of physician practices, and other cost drivers now control our system. The Physicians for a National Healthcare System organization believe this would be better than a single-payer system.
Healthcare needs to be about caring for patients period. Our patchwork of healthcare has led to our overpriced system that offers poor chronic care solutions and expensive substandard care. The US has some of the best acute care available, but most people have chronic conditions because of drug companies researching treatments rather than cures. This has led to chronic treatments being our way of doing medical care. This has led to the healthcare pill economy which was reinforced when Medicare began to cover drugs in 2002 without the government having any negotiating abilities. These abilities have finally begun to roll out but only on a limited basis for now.
Food is medicine
In many ways, better eating leads to better health which leads to less medical care and a better long-term quality of life. Health is a holistic system that has multiple parts being integrated. Food powers this through the gut, hence the idea that food is medicine.
The Washington Post’s article is another warning that we are doing something terribly wrong in our healthcare system and people are dying as a result.
Making bold changes in our Healthcare system will save lives and reduce costs, but can we?
Perhaps the system needs to be scrapped. Unfortunately, like banks that are too big to fail, the system has dug its heels into the ground and will not easily budge. It’s time for big and bold ideas and a better way of thinking about healthcare for the public. Its time to consider a system that allows us to be insured without bankrupting us if we lose our job, cannot work due to a condition a self-employed person or if in the case of my employee’s recent husband’s untimely death, the rush to get coverage when the insurance expires the day he did.
This is America, and we can do better. Do our government’s politicians have what it takes to have the courage to do it. Clinton tried many years ago and failed, but those problems are far worse now than then. Time is not our friend on this and the pandemic exposed all healthcare systems to their weaknesses. Will we learn from this or continue with expensive care that is about the systems and not the people who use it? It’s time for courage.
The chiropractic profession has been one profession that always looked at the health and function of the body, and the musculoskeletal system and is best suited for this type of work. They offer better solutions while reducing the harm done by procedures, and managing painful conditions until they are chronic and require medication or a more risky solution of surgery or joint replacement.
Got pain? Seeing a chiropractor first can reduce your odds of being an overdose statistic.
You can be part of the solution by choosing chiropractic for chronic pain problems. While insurance does not always make this easy, the long-term outcomes may actually reduce this long-term and increasing overdose numbers if we do it right.
Need chiropractic help now? Book online here.
Read the entire Washington Post Article below
Overdose deaths of older Americans quadrupled in the past 20 years
By Linda Searing April 17, 2023
Overdose fatalities among older Americans climbed in recent years, with 6,702 U.S. residents 65 and older succumbing in 2021, according to research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers reported that the rate of fatal overdoses for the age group quadrupled — rising from 3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2002 to 12 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021. Data indicates that 83 percent were accidental, 13 percent were intentional (suicide), 4 percent were undetermined and 0.07 percent (five deaths) were homicides.
The study’s most recent data showed that 57 percent involved an opioid, 39 percent a stimulant and 18 percent both. Of unintentional overdoses, 74 percent stemmed from illicit drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamines. But 68 percent of intentional overdoses involved prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines, sedative-hypnotics and opioids.