TIL: The United States consumes 80% of the world's opioids

TIL: The United States consumes 80% of the world's opioids
TIL: The United States consumes 80% of the world's opioids

We're number one! We're number one! USA! USA!

I'm American, I dont use opioids, does that make me a minority?

And my sister probably consumes about 75% of those.

Legal opioids most likely.

In the areas surrounding afghanistan they use the shit out of opium.

Yes. And now pack your stuff and leave.


My mom, dad, stepdad, and older brother are the other 25%

Almost, but not quite. 38% of Americans use prescription opioids in a year. So you're part of the 62% majority.

Wow, 2/5s of our population uses more opioids than 4/5s of the world population.

We've made America Great Again!

And guess what country went from 3% global production to 90% of global production?


Wooo! USA USA ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

For the same reason America consumes so much opioids - supply.


I think we should strive to do better. 85% is within range.

Many of these comments reference a period about 15 years ago, when I took my medical training, and we were taught that pain was a vital sign, and pain impeded healing, and to give everyone liberal amounts of opioids.

I was an EMT so I was just working on another person's orders (like the Nazis) but now that heroin has become a problem, I had to sign a pain contract for 30 tramadol for a degenerated disc, and they were advocating surgery that had a 30% failure rate before opioids.

Some places haven't caught up and some places aren't having much of a heroin problem, more of a meth problem, and they're a lot more worried about prescribing stimulants than they are painkillers.

Ultimately, painkillers are a drug for the poor. Most middle-class people who have job flexibility and a low-physical-stress job can go to physical therapy appointments, do icepacks and stretching, and avoid aggravating injuries long enough to let them heal.

Try telling that to a drill press operator or a waitress who has to pull double shifts. It simply isn't going to happen. They don't have the physical and occupational therapists they need, they don't have the ability to go into town three times a week for therapy anyway, and they need something that will work now, not two months from now with exercises and stretches.

Now, they might no longer get these drugs, but it's not like there's an influx of occupational therapists in the Appalachians and Ozarks and Detroit dying to help these people, either. They're just in pain, instead.

Does that mean I, a rich white lady in Cambridge, Mass., am in pain sometimes too? Yeah. But I can deal with it by avoiding aggravating injuries, hiring physical work done by TaskRabbit or whatever, and generally pampering an injury. (I actually have a radial fracture I'm healing from, from slipping when salting my sidewalk in February.) I'd rather not be in pain, but it's not killing me by any means.

If I made my life doing physical work, I would be ten kinds of fucked.

A "per head" figure would be more useful I think...

"There was about 300 million pain prescriptions written in 2015,"

Population of USA... 318.9 million (2014)

So it's almost one per head, just for prescriptions!!!

EDIT: Obviously that's just an average, and doesn't mean almost everyone has a prescription! Still an incredibly high rate though.

this is the only home I know :(

CIA bringing home what they came for


Just gotta be able to Finnish on camera

Look at that, we've found the problem right here on Reddit.

Don't be selfish, go and give huge benefits to someone else's economy.

We've made America Feel Great Again! We're gonna win so much you'll get tired of winning. Just sick of all the winning people, believe me, okay.


How much of the world's opioids are in illegal drugs? I know much of pharmaceutical opioids lose their way into the black market.

not heroin usage but predilection toward addiction.

Yeah, but we invented blues music too. Maybe America just has 80% of the world's pain.

Gotta make back the money we sank into Afghanistan.

Opiates are opioids but not all opioids are opiates.

It's not really their fault. It's just that America is the worlds largest testing ground for the most insane capitalist ideas.

Trying to profit from imprisoning people? Sure thing!

Predatory loans for the working poor? Give it a go!

Deregulation and mass production of extremely addictive substances disguised as everyday pain meds? Of course!

Thanks, Big Pharma!

Yea but people with health problems inflate that number.

Up until a few years ago (maybe even more recently? my state made new rules before the country did so I'm not sure) people with chronic pain could be prescribed opiates. But theres a ton of laws and regulations such that one patient could need a "new" prescription every month.

So I used to personally make up 12 a year, more if something went wrong and I needed surgery, because i'd be getting my baseline "your nervous system is fucked" morphine and a bit of "we cut a tumor out of you" oxy.

Yet I can't get anything stronger than an Advil when I threw my back out shoveling this winter and they had to send an ambulance to pull me out of the snowbank I collapsed in.

Seems like the past couple days I've seen a lot of opiate related posts - but not many conversations like this one. It's no surprise the correlation between America's involvement in Afghanistan and the rise of Opiate Pharmaceuticals.

The opiate of the masses is literally opiates.

Opioid like android and opiate like primate. One is synthetic, one is naturally occurring.

Beats me. It's also worth considering that our medical system just overloads people on opioids in general. Even taking into account illegal opioids, for 40% of 400 million people to use the same amount of prescription opioids as 80% of 7 billion people, there have to be some serious issues not being fixed.

i've seen like 5 posts about Opioids just today



It's bullshit how easily you can get strong painkillers in the US.

I partially tore my ACL while I was there for an internship. When I came to the hospital, they asked me to rate my pain 1-10. I told them 2-3 (because it actually didn't hurt that bad for some reason, normally ACL injuries are pretty painful). What did I go home with (after an X-ray)? 10 pills of hydrocodone.

It's just insane to give someone hydrocodone for a pain rating of 2-3. In Germany I would have gotten some Ibuprofen, which would have easily been enough.

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Wouldn't opium be opiate not opioid since it isn't a man made alternative or is it? I'm not sure, but that could be the discrepancy here.

We did it reddit!

From google:

Opiates are drugs derived from opium. At one time "opioids" referred to synthetic opiates only (drugs created to emulate opium, however different chemically). Now the term Opioid is used for the entire family of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic.

Somewhat inevitable in a healthcare system where people are customers not patients.

"Give me something for the pain and keep it coming, don't you know how much I'm paying you?"

mr meseeks says you gotta relaaaax.

Just go into gay porn... works every time

there have to be some serious issues not being fixed.

I doubt making tons of money is a serious issue to the people who made things this way.

In which case I could have come back and asked for it. Just preventatively handing out opioids โ€žin case it gets worseโ€œ is insane.

I dont think I have anything to offer to Finland :(

Sometimes it is genetic. My dad, grandfather and uncle all died of heroin

Wow you actually put a trumpet for each note

I don't blame people , they make me feel fuckin great.

I am glad I don't have access to them for that reason though.

Well, the fact that they are prescribed in numbers far far higher than they could or should be legitimately consumed would suggest at least one good place for regulation. Pretty sure OP was referring to distribution, and not manufacture.

There's norway I could do that.

I am from India. Here, you can get opioid medication from most pharmacies pretty easily. You don't even need a prescription if you keep the number of pills within reasonable limits. Yet, the number of people addicted to opiate medication is low where I am from. The main difference I see from US is that doctors here don't prescribe opioids liberally for pain that can be managed with other medication and prescription drug ads are banned here. Direct to consumer prescription drug ads do encourage over-medication and only in US and New Zealand they are legal.

Hmm, noticed this as well. let's distract the frontpage and legalize marriage iguana.

Fuck that, we need to be the best at everything. Make it 100%.

Wow you actually counted each note

I'm curious how or if they treat pain in other countries, then. If they don't use opoids, do you just have to grit your teeth and deal with it?




Oh, but that's sad though.


Just think about the pay Czech


ohhhh He's trying!

Ibuprofen in Finland.

It's like healthcare shouldn't be a commodity or something.


Beer Rye the Hoppy Guy!

Predisposition towards addiction is passed along family lines

At least she's defeating the obesity epidemic! /s

This is a genuine question: how can something like heroin usage be genetic?

In 2007, 93% of the non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan.

So... not the opioids we're talking about here.

How she look?

Awesome, educated response. Thank you. Now everyone in here can stop hypothesizing.

I think you mean that 2/5 of the US population uses 4X more opioids than the rest of world's population.

Cause that's what it means to consume 80% of the opioids.

Opioids: synthetic form of opiates

typically someone with chronic pain will get their prescriptions renewed every month, so over a year, that value is inflated by a factor of 12. If you make the assumption that all the prescriptions were for chronic pain, then that's only 25 million people. The actual number of individuals consuming prescription opioids per year is probably somewhere around 50 to 100 million (making some generous assumptions about the number of yearly renewal prescriptions)

That was a great way of explaining it

Only about >< far from being a junkie.

Deregulation? Are you serious?

As someone who once had chronic pain and was on two different prescriptions of pain medications, the scary thing here to me is not that some people abuse meds, but rather the rush to make legitimate uses extremely difficult or impossible. People in pain have a right to medications to treat that pain. The scare mongering and attempts to make opioids unavailable is the most terrifying part of this.

I probably would have been a suicide statistic without the meds. At the very least, I'd have been rendered unable to work and probably unable to take care of myself.



I think you need to Sweden the deal first.

Reddit when it comes to drugs: ALL DRUGS SHOULD BE LEGAL

Reddit when drugs are negative: FUCK PHARMA, ITS MY MOM :(

Lol fucking kek

Is it just me or does that not work on anyone else? If I have pain taking a couple over the counter meds does literally nothing. I might as well have taken sugar pills. I've never taken strong painkillers, so not sure if that's any better.

Yeah there are definetly issues with overprescription but there's also good reasons to give people more than they strictly need right now.

There are quite a few non-opioid options they could have given me that would have sufficed even if my pain levels had doubled.

Do you really not see how giving out opioids for a 2-3 pain level โ€žjust in caseโ€œ is insane?

I lived in a very dodgy part of town years ago. I went to see the local GP who had his pad out and asked me what I wanted when I walked through the door.

When I told him I was ill and didn't know what was wrong he looked pretty shocked. I don't think he did much actual doctoring.

al khida

Once I went to a walk-in minute clinic for a sore throat. After a less than five minute encounter with the doctor, he asked me if I wanted some codeine like he was handing out candy.

I like you

Junky here, you're probably kidding but in case you're not... don't do it.

All of those videos I've seen aren't from opioid use, they are from recovery from general anethesia, which doesn't use opioids.

Legal doesn't make it any healthier

I think the point is that the title is misleading because it makes it sound like the US uses considerably more heroin than the rest of the world combined.

What do you do for chronic pain?

Proper medication, which potentially includes opioids depending on the case.

But we don't hand them out like candy, which has been my experience in the US.

The Blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad... after the opiates wear off...

It depends what condition we're talking about. Pain is such a broad term that encompasses an array of conditions. You have musculoskeletal pain, inflammatory pain, neuropathic pain, orthopedic pain, cancer pain, migraines, acute vs. chronic pain, and the list goes on. Each one of these has vastly different pathology and vastly different treatment modalities. And on top of this, each individual has a unique pain threshold and expectations going into pain treatment. There is no "one size fits all" pain regimen.

NSAIDs are some of the BEST pain medications to use for inflammatory conditions. But might not touch neuropathic pain.

See "the Pareto Principle."

And for chronic pain patients it's not unusual to have two prescriptions, one short acting and one long acting.

Fuck that man. I'm 3 days sober off an opiate addiction and it fucking sucks. Stay away from the shit it's so not worth it.