Americans take a lot of painkillers.
We actually consume the majority of the world’s supply. To be exact, we take 80% of the opioids globally, even though we only make up 5% of the world population.
We take pills for actual pain, we take them when we think we have pain but don’t, we take them for fun, we take them for short periods of time, and sadly many people take them for very long periods of time. That’s called addiction.
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. What is surprising, is that a certain location in the United States is taking significantly more prescription painkillers than anywhere else. Can you guess where?
The pharmacy benefits management company Express Scripts released a study showing some interesting details on how Americans use and abuse prescription meds.
The stand-out detail to me was that 41 of the top 50 opioid abusing cities in America are in 4 states. To put that in simpler terms, these 4 states are the biggest consumers of pain meds:
Obviously, the issue is not just that those four states are using the most painkillers, it’s that they are all in the same region. This absolutely must be a cultural issue. The same cultural issue that makes America the lead consumer in pain meds globally must be driving this cultural concentration in the South, right?
The way the general American public views those 4 states must be how the global community looks at our consumption. But why is this? Why do we take so many pain drugs when other countries don’t? Why do Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Arkansas take so much more than Oregon, Nevada or Arizona?
I would love to hear any thoughts you have on this, let me know what you think in the comments below.