Between 2001 and 2010, there were dramatic increases in Emergency Room prescriptions of opioid analgesics, such as Percocet, Vicodin, oxycodone and Dilaudid.
No surprise there, America is increasingly over-medicated, be it on supplements, homeopathy or legitimate treatments.
And it's going to get worse. If current trends under the Affordable Care Act persist, fewer and fewer doctors will accept government plans, and that means even more people will go to the ER, at far higher cost. ER doctors have to treat a lot of people and 'pain' is an entirely subjective claim, one of the last vestiges remaining of symptom-based diagnosis in the field.