In 2015, 52,000 people died from drug overdose. The majority of those overdoses pointed to heroin, a street level opioid, fentanyl, a chemically made synthetic opioid available by prescription or bought on the street, and other opioid drugs, which could include prescription painkillers, prescription codeine, or street level imitations. For American adults under the age of 50, opioid overdose has become the leading cause of death. Heart attacks, HIV/AIDS, car crashes and gun violence have been surpassed by the deadly presence of opioid drugs.
Already, the early analysis of data from 2016 slowly being released have shown a rise in the number of drug overdoses- a projected 60,000 overdose deaths. Though the opioid and drug epidemic in America has been steadily climbing for 20 years, the most significant increase in overdose deaths started just a few years ago. “To put the death toll in perspective,” reports Amy Goodman for Democracy Now!, “opioid deaths have surpassed the peak in death by car crash in 1972, AIDS deaths in 1995 and gun deaths in 1993. After 20 years of heavy combat in South Vietnam, U.S. military casualties represented only one-third of the death toll from 10 years of opioid overdoses.”
What Caused The Opioid Epidemic?
Many researchers, addiction treatment specialists, news publications, doctors, and physicians have pointed toward “Big Pharma” or the pharmaceutical industry as being responsible for the opioid crisis America is currently facing. In the late 1990’s one company in particular, Purdue Pharma, wanted to break into the morphine-based painkiller market. The company introduced Oxycontin with a marketing plan which offered the industry’s first 12 hour dosing period for painkillers. Various exposes have revealed that there was little evidence to back this claim and when doctors called their pharmaceutical representatives about problems with the medications, the representatives simply suggested doctors increase the dosages again and again. As the problem became widespread, pharmaceutical companies compensated by aggressively informing doctors they were underprescribing the opioids and that any pain-related issue could be effectively treated with a high dosage of opioid painkillers. Told that the medications were non-habit forming and non-addictive, abiding by their hippocratic oath to do no harm, thousands of doctors sought to relieve increasing pain in their patients, prescribing more medications. Unable to continuously fill prescriptions, many patients turned to alternative forms of opioids, namely heroin, which has caused a tremendous outbreak.
Together, we can work against the opioid epidemic by helping our loved ones find recovery from opioid addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction and are in need help planning your recovery, call Hired Power today. Our dynamic team of experienced recovery professionals serves to empower your sobriety and bring recovery home. For more information, call 00-910-9299.