Revelations that the number of people dying because of opioid abuse in the US has quadrupled are heartbreaking. The deaths have overtaken those caused by auto accidents or any other cause. The most painful part is that addictions are fueled by opiates which are intended to be used to treat chronic pain. From this, one would think that it is quite easy to fight this epidemic However, as the authorities have always said; it is getting worse by the day no matter what they do. It leaves one wondering; what is not being done right? Why can’t the epidemic be eliminated once and for all?
Although there are many factors that fuel this epidemic, anyone who has been following events since the early 2000s will not forget one factor – Pharma. It is the information that people were fed with during the early days that led to the epidemic that is being witnessed now. Every doctor knows that people were told that opioid was the best way to treat chronic pain and that it was safe. As fate would have it, it ended up being one of the worst nightmares that the modern society has ever had to deal with.
There is no dispute that opiates treated chronic pain and they were quite effective at that. However, that does not conceal the fact that Pharma misled people with the marketing messages. The aggressive marketing of opiates is without a doubt the main reason why people took to them like fish to water. The worst part is that even when they started getting addicted to the drugs, nobody thought that it would be anything serious. It was until they became overly dependent on them that worries started flying around. Maybe, it could have been handled at this stage but it was not and so, it grew into something else.
Talk to any medical expert and they will tell you that when a person becomes dependent on opiates, they seize being enough for them. These addicts start looking for something stringer and the only option that comes to their minds is heroin. Considering that heroin is less expensive and more available than opiates, it becomes their new lifestyle. There are many people – both young and old – who are so lost I heroin that they cannot live their lives without it. Families and communities have lost a lot of things just because of this.
So what is the way forward? A lot has to be done if America is to be free from opioid abuse. Although there are many solutions that have been suggested out there, it all gets back to Pharma. The same way they convinced people to use these drugs is the same method that they should use to help them to understand that there are better alternatives. It is important to let the community know that they actually manage chronic pain without fuel addiction to the drugs that they use. If they understand this, cases of overdoses, seizures and smaller addictions will no longer be anything to worry about.