Opioid addiction is a quiet epidemic, filled with shame. People often die alone when they overdose.
- 4,000 people start using opioids each day
- 78 people die every day from overdosing on these painkillers
- 34 million people are in chronic pain in the U.S.
- 4 in 5 new heroin users started out abusing prescription pain meds. Because of of this, the rate of heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupled from 2000-2013.
“Nobody is safe from this epidemic,” says President Trump, who recently declared the opioid epidemic to be a National Emergency.. He vowed that his administration would take a “law and order” approach to battle the opioid epidemic ravaging parts of the country such as Ohio, California, New Hampshire and Vermont.
How did this mess happen? Too many doctors began to prescribe opioids and introduced the drugs into the mainstream medicine. They introduced a time-released OxyContin. The problem is, it’s highly addictive because OxyContin is 50 times stronger than heroin.
Purdue Pharma executed the most aggressive marketing campaign for the narcotic OxyContin for use in the medical field. No other pharmaceutical company had done such a high-level marketing campaign ever! By 2001, Purdue Pharma was selling more than a billion dollars worth of OxyContin in just one year. That paved the way for more drug abuse as more prescription painkillers are being written for drugs like Percocet and Vicodin. As a result, sales of these drugs increased significantly. We are in a state of constant, unrelenting addiction.
In 2007, Purdue Pharma admitted to lying in their commercials and paid out a whopping $600 million in fines and settlements. That is a ridiculously high number and certainly makes me wonder how many deaths were involved in this settlement. It’s horrific!
In addition, the CDC records are staggering. The impact of opioids leads to HIV, birth defects and harm to the body of the abuser.
Addiction is a public health problem, in my opinion, and people need treatment not jail time for abusing opioids. We are slowly progressing towards seeing opioid addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal issue. It will be interesting to see what President Trump does about it. I feel there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
What are your thoughts about this?