Prescription Opioid Use Plummets: Why Are We Focused on the Bad News?
The American people consume tons of digital content each day. It’s where most of us get our news these days, whether it be from Facebook, Twitter, or online editions of our favorite newspapers. Each day, most of us wake up to scroll through our feeds to see what the daily developments are in our communities and the world in general. Weirdly enough, it seems as though we, as a society, thrive on bad news. We love the stories of chaos, carnage, war, battles, mass overdoses, and insane headlines coming out right here in Florida. But what about the good news? What about the successes our society achieves in fighting the very things that are killing us?
The good news gets cast aside and discarded while the bad news is consumed in mass quantities. While we might have wins and successes with defeating the drug problem, it seems the mass public wants more of the insane drug busts, crazy viral videos of people freaking out on flakka, and blaming the Sackler family for the problem we’ve found ourselves in with opioids. As the person who posts weekly success stories about addicts who beat their addiction, I can tell you that a lot of the public are way more interested in my reporting a massive fentanyl bust than reading about a person who found his or her life again as a result of going to treatment.
While bad news is often commented on, shared, and debated, good news just gets pushed to the wayside and is not really even noticed. So I’m going to take a moment to report some good news—and I hope you all read it.
There has recently been a historic drop in prescription opioid use. As of 2018, use was down 17 percent according to data collected by IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. Drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin fell in use and popularity, probably due to the heavy government restrictions placed on the medication. Just as the government itself has been trying to help in the drug crisis, so has the Justice Department, which is trying to severely limit the amount of prescriptions given out, and holding those responsible for their roles in the crisis’ creation.
More and more drug company executives have been punished for their shady practices that eventually led to the deaths of thousands. Recently a former CEO of a major drug company was the first to be criminally charged for their role in the epidemic. Many doctors and other medical professionals are now being held accountable for this misbehavior as well.
This is good news across the boards. Prescription drug use is down, drug company execs are being held accountable, which leaves less people to be continually affected by the greed of a select few. This is what we need to pay attention to. This is the type of news we want to hear.