Ex-Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell brings the reality home in this essay published by Philly.com
By Ed Rendell for Philly.com. February 3, 2016
"Last year, 44,000 people died of drug overdoses. and 52 percent of them were related to prescription drugs. More than 2 million Americans are dependent on opioid pain killers and, every day, 44 Americans die from an overdose of these drugs.
When the cost of these pain killers becomes too great, addicts will turn to the use of low-cost heroin. In 2007, there were 373,000 heroin addicts in the United States, and 2,400 deaths resulted from a heroin overdose. By 2014, those numbers ballooned to 914,000 addicts and 10,500 overdose deaths. The overdose death rate of people ages 25 to 34 was five times higher in 2014 than it was in 1999.
As you read these statistics, you are probably stunned, horrified, saddened, and angry. But you’ll put the newspaper down and go about dealing with the challenges of your life. As bad as these facts are, they don’t affect you — it’s not personal."