Comic: Supply Side Economics of the Opioid Epidemic

Supply-side economics: the vicious cycle of the opioid epidemic

Image credit: Bob Englehart, Cagle Cartoons

Supply-side economics is premised on the idea that “supply creates it own demand.”  This certainly holds true for prescription opioids. 

Pharmaceutical grade pills made of chemically altered molecules of opium are highly addictive…shocking.  The CDC published a startling report which documents the potency of prescription opioids:

  • 6% of patients prescribed opioids for 1 day were still using a year later.
  • 13% of patients prescribed opioids for 8 days were still using a year later.
  • 30% of patients prescribed opioids for 30 days were still using a year later.

A CDC study found that 30% of patients prescribed opioids for 30 days were still using a year later. These are not doctor-shopping addicts. These are our family members and friends who are 1st introduced to opioids by a doctor.

This study focused only on opioid naïve patients; in other words, these are not doctor-shopping addicts.  These are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children who are first introduced to opioids by a prescription written by a doctor and filled by a pharmacist.  Scary stuff.  


Paul Farrell, Jr.
Paul Farrell, Jr.

Paul Farrell, Jr., is Co-Lead of MDL 2804, National Prescription Opiate Litigation, and represents 700+ communities across the United States in the largest and most complex case in history.

Mr. Farrell is widely considered one of the premier trial lawyers in West Virginia with experience prosecuting medical malpractice cases, birth trauma cases, and negligent credentialing cases.