America's Opioid Epidemic
Profiting from Pain

In the United States, 145 people die every day from opioid overdose. Drug overdose is the #1 cause of preventable death among people younger than 55 and average life expectancy has fallen for the last three years due to diseases of despair--alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide--in the longest sustained decline since World War I. In 2017, drug overdoses hit an all-time high, killing 72,237 Americans.

Under capitalism, every crisis is seen as an opportunity for profit. In 2015 alone, U.S. physicians wrote 300 million pain prescriptions worth $24 billion dollars: enough to keep every American medicated around the clock for three weeks. To fully understand this crisis, we must acknowledge its causes as multifold and rooted not only in the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, but also in the neoliberal restructuring of society which promotes wealth inequalities, deindustrialization, the continuing War on Drugs, and the dominance of a profit-based healthcare system.

Sponsored by Science for the People.

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