According to a survey by the National Safety Council, ninety-nine percent of primary care doctors routinely prescribe potentially addictive opioid painkillers for longer than the three-day period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Isn't it time that the pharmaceutical industry and doctors be held to account for the opioid addiction crisis that is killing 51 people each day who are addicted to prescription opioids? If Prince's death begins that conversation, then his legacy will be much more than his music.
The relatively recent epidemic of opium-addiction is now America's fastest growing drug problem. While the consequences of this prescription-driven epidemic may be largely invisible to the general public, it is all too clear to doctors like myself.
To the extent that there is any problem at all with painkiller abuse and overdoses, it's due more to a decade of aggressive policing, obstinate federal law enforcement agencies, and the encroachment of law enforcement into the practice of medicine than lax government oversight.
If I ever started abusing substances again it will be because I have an irresistible and distorted urge to enjoy illicit substances 'recreationally,' 'without harm.' The sad thing is River, Heath, DJ AM and Brittany probably thought the same.