I just read a figure that shocked me. In the US over 40,000 people die from drug overdoses each year. To be accurate, the last available statistic was 46,471 overdose deaths in 2013. For comparison there were 35,369 car accident deaths. In fact in many countries, including the UK, and Australia, over dose deaths overshadow road deaths. This implies a huge number of people hooked on some type of mind altering substance, either illicit, or prescription. In fact, prescription drug abuse is the larger part of the problem. The US Drug Enforcement Agency recently reported that prescription medication abuse is higher than use of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA and PCP combined, and kills more people than heroin and cocaine combined. And then there is that elephant in the room; alcohol abuse. Oh yes, we will admit there is a problem with alcoholism, but that is not us of course, not in our room. The fact that 6 o’clock comes and I’m anxious if there is no sight of my favored tipple, is nothing to do with addiction!
Actually we all take shelter in something, even if it is as innocuous as chips and the watching of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” or whatever other mind filler the black screen can offer up, or reading the latest trivia on our favored internet channel. So we can’t consider ourselves “better” than a drug addict. It’s just that our situation appears less immediately dangerous. We don’t tend to die from TV overdose.