Sept. 4, 2023 – Since 2000, there have been over 700k drug overdose deaths in the U.S. The federal budget for drug control in 2023 was $42.5 billion but little progress has been made compared to other countries. This was spent on various treatments for substance abuse disorder and the remaining budget was distributed among various government departments for prevention, interdiction and law enforcement.

More than a quarter of illegal drug users have been diagnosed with having a drug disorder, and 24.7% of those with an officially diagnosed drug disorder are addicted to opioids, which include pain relievers and heroin. Over nine million people (3.4% of Americans) aged 12 or older abuse opioids at least once over a span of 12 months. Of these almost 10 million Americans, 745,000 (7.4%) of opioid misusers abuse heroin while 404,000 (4.0%) abuse heroin and other prescription drugs.

The pharmaceutical industry is an expansive and widely powerful conglomerate with a monopoly on opioids. Historically speaking, the pharmaceutical industry has downplayed the addictive properties of drugs to doctors, resulting in manipulative marketing techniques that doctors and people succumb to.