Are We Missing a Bigger Opioid Crisis?
While the US suffers an overdose epidemic, most of the world misses out on painkillers.
Forty-two Americans die every day from an overdose involving painkilling prescription opioids. President Donald Trump recently declared the US opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. Yet in the world’s poorest countries, cancer patients and people recovering from major surgery often get no effective pain relief at all. Why is access to prescription painkillers so unequal? And is the shortage of opioids in much of the world getting the attention it deserves?
(Photo: View of poppies in a poppy field in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Credit: Pedro Pardo/Getty Images)