An Average of 91 Americans are dying daily due to Opioids. The Opioid epidemic started in the 90’s when Doctors decided to address chronic pain. Around the same time, Big Pharma started pushing their new drug Oxycotin. They pitched Oxycotin as a wonder drug that was not habit forming.
For those who were skeptical of the new drug, they cited an old 1980s letter from The New England Journal Of Medicine. The letter claimed that as long as the patient didn’t have a history of addiction Oxycotin was a worry-free drug. The writers of The New England Journal Of Medicine came out against this interpretation but it was too late. The damage was already done, the Drug had already been marketed. By the late 90s to 2000s Opioid Prescriptions were given out like candy.
As of 2015, the opioid prescriptions are being given out at a rate of three times higher than 1999. People who cant afford the prescriptions have moved over to the cheaper substitute Heroin. Studies now show that dependency can occur within days of using the Opioid. This has led to a boost in addiction and overdose-related deaths.
Medical Professionals and Law Enforcement have created Rules and regulations to monitor the prescriptions. But this fight against Opioid addiction is going to be a long uphill battle.
In 2010, prescriptions of opioids peaked, and have fallen ever since. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.
In 2015, there were still three times as many opioid prescriptions being written as there were in 1999, and many people have turned to cheaper opioid substitutes, like heroin.
Seizing on this booming market, drug dealers sought to boost potency, and their own profits, by lacing their heroin and other drugs with powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Those additives have only accelerated the rise in overdose deaths, which last year killed more than 64,000 Americans.
By almost any measure, this is the biggest drug epidemic in American history, dwarfing the number of lives lost to crack cocaine or methamphetamines. It’s a crisis that took decades to create, and experts say will take a great deal of time, patience and work to undo.