The New York Times published a statistic: “Of all the nations of the world, the United States consumes the most habit-forming drugs per capita.”1 Similar statements have been published before, but one may be surprised that this one was published in 1911, quoting the US Opium Commissioner, Hamilton Wright, MD CM. He went on to call opium the “most pernicious drug known to humanity.”1 Despite this warning, more than 100 years later, the United States is reeling with more than 70 000 deaths from drug overdose per year, with more than 67% of these attributable to opioids.2
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Chidgey BA, McGinigle KL, McNaull PP. When a Vital Sign Leads a Country Astray—The Opioid Epidemic. JAMA Surg. Published online August 14, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2104
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