Alva Review-Courier -

By Bob Moos
Southwest public affairs officer for CMS 

Our overuse of pain medications threatens our health


Our nation faces its deadliest drug epidemic ever.

For years, Americans overestimated the benefits of opioids and underestimated the risks. Many people became regular users of these narcotic pain killers, often quite innocently, with a prescription from a doctor after surgery or an injury or as treatment for a chronic condition. Few thought their growing dependence on the pain killers would lead to addiction.

The numbers describe the magnitude of the crisis now confronting us:

• Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in this country has nearly quadrupled.

• Also since then,...

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