Who is behind the Pain KillerAwareness.org? Our names are Jon and Mark. We are brothers who have experienced lives ups and downs together. Our family is not unlike many other American families we are sons, husbands, and fathers. However, within our family we have witnessed a healthy, active grandmother break her hip and then die of kidney failure just a few short months later. Also our 68 year old family member who is cancer patient nearly overdosed on pain medication administered by his wife … who is a Registered Nurse. We are grateful that he received medical attention and survived however, this just underscores how very personal this blog and movement for Pain Killer Awareness is to us.
What started as a desire to help people understand the severity of the issue transformed into much more when we realized how little information was available regarding how easy it was for an unsuspecting person to die from taking a medication that was supposed to make them feel better. Every year more than 20,000 unsuspecting Americans die from the toxic effects of Pain Killers; they die because the line between a safe dose and a deadly dose is razor thin. People are losing their life simply because they do not know how small the difference is between an accurate dose and a life threatening dose.
Our goal is to create a community of like-minded and concerned individuals, churches, bloggers, businesses and other organizations who focus on awareness. We hope to reach individuals who care enough about this issue to raise awareness and spread the word that lack of knowledge regarding Pain Killer medications’ toxicity is one of America’s leading silent killers. We are heartened by a posting in The Journal of Rheumatology that stated, “54% [of America] was NOT aware of the potential side effects of OTC pain killers”. We want people to begin creating dialogues about this because it is truly a life or death issue.
We know there are people whose daily lives have been much enhanced from taking pain killer medications and our intention is not to marginalize this very important fact. However, we believe that when thousands of unsuspecting people die largely from “not knowing” it reduces an otherwise successful usage incident to a “hollow victory”. It’s a hollow victory because these victims “did NOT know” that they could be deprived of life, itself, just because they wanted their pain to go away i.e., they wanted to feel better.
To be clear, we do not begrudge the big drug companies making money; after all, this is America. However, when their products become a leading cause of liver failure, the number one cause of intestinal bleeding, a strong component linked to the increase of heart attacks … all of which can lead to death, we feel (at a minimum) the community that consumes these products MUST be made aware.
Something to Think About …
To put this issue in perspective … on each 9/11 we mourn the death of around 3,000 people who died from a single terrorist act perpetrated on American soil we, and undoubtedly you too, are still outraged by this incident! Both of us joined the U.S. Army as a result of the outrage we felt due to the attacks of 9/11. Jon spent a year deployed to Afghanistan. This attack drastically changed our lives and in our opinion the deaths caused by pain killers and the lack of awareness about their toxicity is just as serious. Did you know that every 60 days more people die from pain medications than died from that fateful day in New York City? Where is the outrage? Are these people, who die largely because of “not knowing”, not deserving of similar sentiment?
At the risk of appearing naive to the current political and economic reality, we would like to see The Billion dollar Drug Companies spend some of their huge profits to create an ongoing campaign to clearly explain, in a plain English public service type message, the real risks of using their products to the public and that our political leaders would elevate this issue to an attention grabbing public health issue. The reality is … “If that is to be, it is up to me and YOU.” It has become painfully clear that neither the industry nor the politicians; have neither the desire nor the inclination to do this. So, rather than wait for them … we will become the change agents that we hope to see in the world. We can begin by sharing Pain Killer Awareness.org with your friends, your family as well as the people you work, play and pray with. If you have a story to tell share it with us…
Disclosure Statement — instead all information is from third party sources like the Wall Street Journal, FDA website, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medicine and other credible sources. All sources are noted or footnoted.
Poisoning is the second leading cause of injury death overall, and the leading cause of injury death for people aged 35-54 years, surpassing both firearm-related and motor vehicle-related deaths
From 1999 through 2006, the number of poisoning deaths nearly doubled from almost 20,000 to more than 37,000 Opioid analgesics were involved in almost 40% of all poisoning deaths in 2006, up from about 20% in 1999 –cdc
This information and the graph were issued by the Centers of Disease Control and provide a prime example of why it is time for change. If you look the graphs it is very obvious the progression of this epidemic. The last reported year is 2006 and here we are 6 years removed from that time. If this drastic increase in poisoning deaths has increased at the same rate as it has since 1998 poisoning has already surpassed motor-vehicle accidents and firearm deaths.
“We are living in a new era … an era, where Americans respect and have come to expect companies to have a social, even moral, responsibility to be part of the solution to problems that stress an already very stressed out planet.” Jon Flatt, Co-Founder of Pain Killer Awareness.org
PainKillerAwareness.org has chosen not to register as a Non Profit Organization or Corporation in order avoid any perception of a conflict of interest, due to the fact that our father is the founder of RTPR.com