You can’t miss them -- on television, online and in magazines, advertisements showing an average person (someone just like you, perhaps) suffering from one medical ailment or another. With the help of the medicine being promoted, they feel a thousand times better and get on with their daily lives. Then comes the rapid-fire or, in the case of newspapers and magazines, the fine-print, about the medication’s potential side effects, ranging from nausea to even death.
The U.S. is one of the richest, most privileged countries in the world — and also the most avid consumers of pain pills, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control. We take twice as many opioid pain-relievers per person as Canada does (they are #2 on the dubious list of pill-popping nations).
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