The Cycle Opioid of Addiction

The Cycle Opioid of Addiction

The Cycle Opioid of Addiction

Sadly, legendary musician Prince appears to be yet another victim of the opioid epidemic.

OxyContin became a blockbuster drug mainly through misleading claims, claims Purdue Pharma knew were false from the very beginning.

The basic promise was that it provided pain relief for a full 12 hours, 2X as long as generic drugs, giving patients “smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night.”

However, for many the effects do not last anywhere near 12 hours, and once the drug wears off, painful withdrawal symptoms set in, including body aches, nausea and anxiety.

These symptoms, in addition to the return of the original pain, quickly begin to feed the Cycle of Addiction.

Rather than prescribing more frequent doses, Purdue insists doctors prescribe higher doses instead, which makes the highs higher, and the lows lower.

As noted by the LA Times: “Peter Przekop, a neuroscientist and physician who oversees the treatment of painkiller addicts at the Betty Ford Center…said that repeated episodes of withdrawal from OxyContin ‘absolutely’ raise the risk that patients will abuse the medication. ‘You are messing with those areas of the brain that are involved in addiction, and you are going to get the person dependent on it,’ he said.”

Since Y 1999, at least 190,000 people have died from OxyContin overdose.

In Y 2007, Purdue Pharma pled guilty to charges of mis-branding, and was fined $600-M for misleading the public about Oxycontin’s addictive qualities.

A few years later, in Y 2014, Chicago and 2 California counties, Orange and Santa Clara, filed lawsuits against five OxyContin manufacturers, charging them with contributing to an epidemic of drug abuse by purposefully downplaying the risks of these drugs, overselling their benefits, and secretly funding front organizations, like the American Pain Foundation, to promote their widespread use.

Still the problem continues unabated.

According to a nationwide analysis of prescription data, more than 50% of all long-term OxyContin users currently take doses considered “dangerously high” by public health officials.

Fentanyl is also becoming increasingly problematic.

This synthetic opiate, originally used in hospitals for post-surgery pain, began showing up on the streets in Y 2014, mixed in with heroin. Traffickers sometimes sell pure fentanyl as heroin, and since this drug can be 50X more potent than heroin, death can be fast.

In the case of Prince, indictments may follow once authorities determine where the opioids found in his possession came from.

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have risen by 300% over the past 10 years, and deaths from overdosing on these drugs now far surpass those from illicit street drugs.

Sadly, legendary musician Prince appears to be yet another victim of the opioid epidemic.

But, in the majority of cases, no one is penalized when a person dies from a prescription painkiller overdose.

A case can even be made that the federal government bears a responsibility in the current opioid epidemic, as policies support the use of these exceptionally dangerous painkillers while barring the use of Medical Marijuana, which can offer non-toxic pain relief.

Medical Marijuana has a long history as a natural analgesic, and many states have legalized Marijuana for medical purposes.

Its medicinal qualities are due to high amounts (about 10-20%) of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes, and flavanoids.

The Journal of Pain, a publication by the American Pain Society, has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of Cannabis and it certainly seems worth the effort for anyone with chronic pain to use it.

Just be sure to seek out a knowledgeable Cannabis physician, as many have no idea of the proper dosing.

Nature has many well know helps for pain relieve, seek them out, addiction to Rx drugs can be deadly.



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