Drugs in America
During the Quarantine, Americans have resorted to alcohol and drug use. As mentioned earlier, Opioid overdose-related cardiac arrests rose roughly 40% within the last year, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. “In the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,237 people died after overdosing on an opioid, compared with 766 in the first 6 months of 2019 and 772 from Sep 14, 2019, to March 15, 2020.(cidrap.umn.edu)” Released by the RAND corporation and supported by the NIAAA, a recent study has found that heavy drinking by women has increased by 41% during the pandemic. A Nielsen survey found that alcohol sales rose 54% at the beginning of the pandemic, and overall alcohol consumption has increased by 14% compared to in 2019.
It is easy to surmise that stress related to the global pandemic has caused such an increase in these numbers. With all the social distancing, animosity, and fear instilled in the public, it’s no wonder people are resorting to substance abuse. But while we’re here, let’s point out the fact that so many of our favorite vaccine health and safety advocating celebrities have also developed their image around drugs and alcohol. And that’s not to mention as well that an exceptional amount of heroin cases in America begun with prescription drugs.
According to a 2016 national survey, heroin use more than doubled amongst Americans since 2006. And “80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids.” The drugs prescribed to patients by doctors include OxyContin and Vicodin, which are opioids used as painkillers. These painkillers are highly addictive prescription drugs and it’s no wonder they are so easily abused. And despite their dangerous nature, more than 191 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers were written to Americans in 2017. That’s a rate of 58.7 prescriptions per 100 people. That same year more than 35% of all opioid overdose deaths occurred due to prescription painkillers.
In 2021, the opioid crisis has risen 40%.
Interestingly, the United States has the largest pharmaceutical market, making up roughly 48% of total revenues worldwide. In 2019, the United States pharmaceutical market was valued at $1.12 trillion. Could money have something to do with the growing rate at which Americans use prescription drugs?
It was Standard Oil mogul John D. Rockefeller who successfully monopolized the pharmaceutical industry in the early 1900s. With the help of Frederick T. Gates, the founder of the Institute of Medical Research, Rockefeller created the Rockefeller Foundation in 1913. That year, Rockefeller commissioned Abraham Flexner to conduct research on medicinal practices in America. In his report, Flexner criticized homeopathy—the medical model based on natural remedies, believing the body can heal itself. Flexner referred to such practices as “quackery,” manipulating the public to mistrust remedies that had been around since the beginning of mankind. Instead of using herbs and minerals, he emphasized the need for a “new curriculum” in American medical schools which used pharmacology instead. In other words, prescription drugs. With the help of Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, Flexner pushed for standardizing this drug focused model in the United States, funding schools that supported this form of analytical science and discrediting those who argued it.
In 1916, Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire, and by the 1920s the “Pill for Every Ill” scheme was underway, marketing synthetic alternatives to the masses.
More than half of American adults are on prescription drugs today.