This book, “How America’s Addiction to Heroin & Opiate Prescription Painkillers Became “The Health Crisis of Our Generation,” is needed because the Opioids Epidemic has cost the lives of 560,000 Americans who died of opiate overdose with 50 million more being addicted to these powerful drugs. President Trump recently declared the Opioids Epidemic a, “National Emergency.” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy describes the current Opioids Epidemic as “The Health Crisis of Our Generation.” CDC Director, Tom Frieden, MD, MPH is quoted as saying, “The Opioid Epidemic is devastating American families and communities. “ People are literally dying in their cars with their kids in the back seat, dying in the aisles of local markets with their kids pulling at their limp bodies with 65,000 dying just last year according to the New York Times due to a prescription opioids crisis that continues to spiral out of control. That’s a whopping 178 people per day who died of overdose in America in 2016. Opioids overdose deaths, including heroin and opioid pain relievers, hit record levels in 2015 and are rising dramatically. In fact, according to the CDC, the #1 cause of death in the 50-and-under age group is opiate overdose. With no end in sight for this horrible epidemic, the timing for this book couldn’t be better.
This book is about the subject of heroin & opioids addiction and how serious it is in the context of the current crisis we’re in. This book exposes the crisis, manufactured by and for the pharmaceutical industry, solely in the name of profit, pointing out that Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, paid over $600 million in fines to the Justice Department, which pales in comparison to the $3.1 Billion they collected selling this powerfully addictive drug. In their effort to increase sales, Big Pharma hired an army of sales representatives to encourage doctors, hospitals and teaching institutions into buying their deadly drugs, all at the expense of the American consumer. They used money, sex, lies and deception to obtain their objective: selling as many drugs as possible. The FDA itself has been exposed as being too cozy and being influenced too heavily by the very drug manufacturers they were supposed to be protecting us from. This epidemic has lead to many families literally being torn apart by the ravages of addiction. In many states, prescriptions for powerful opiate drugs outnumber the population in those states. States with the highest rates of overdose due to opiates are WV, NM, NH, KY, TN and OH. In Tennessee alone, 1 in 6 people are addicted to opiates, often becoming addicted after receiving a prescription of opiate painkillers. In one simple study, over 90% of the homeless began their downward spiral in life beginning with an opiate painkiller prescribed by their doctor. With the ever exploding homeless situation sweeping across the U.S., this has had very serious consequences, affecting millions of Americans. One would think that our government would be taking drastic steps to curb this epidemic but, surprisingly, it seemingly is dragging its feet, only now beginning to do something about it. Perhaps it is due to the $880 million in campaign contributions given by the pharmaceutical industry for campaigns favorable to Big Pharma. Perhaps it’s due to the FDA board, even the directors themselves, being staffed by Big Pharma or having ties to the pharmaceutical industry. This book highlights how many police departments and emergency first-responders are simply exhausted and utterly overwhelmed by this epidemic. Many police officers, and their drug sniffing dogs, are overdosing just from exposure to but a few grains of powerful opiates like fentanyl and carfentanil. Coroner’s offices have rented out refrigerated trucks to hold all of the bodies. It's a disaster and it’s time something is done about this horrible epidemic. This book is a tremendous start.