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What Caused The Escalation Of The Heroin Epidemic?

In 2010, there was a reformulation of one of the most powerful painkillers, OxyContin. This was the starting pint for an epidemic of a heroin crisis that would sweep across the United Sates. Although there were cases of drug abuse before that time, it is obvious that the escalation was totally because of this reformation. In the years that followed, there was an explosion in heroin overdoses and deaths. Researchers have also found out that the trends in the supply and consumption of drugs changed after this incidence. This is the reason why they strongly believe that it is the chief driver of the heroin epidemic.

The Original Release
Purdue Pharma released OxyContin in 1996 was meant t offer extended relive to patients who are suffering from chronic pain. It became popular because it had the ability to last for up to 12 hours after the patient takes it. One thing that should be noted is that the original release at that time was particularly prone to abuse. This is largely because the users could use the drugs in various forms. For instance, they could be chewed, crushed, snorted, or injected in order to deliver a 12-hour relief. Since one only needed one dose to get al these effects, the drug became quite popular and available in almost every store.

Misleading Customers
Things took a different when the manufacturers of these drugs pleaded guilty to misleading their customers. They had not given accurate information about the abuse risk associated with their product. This was because some people were already showing addition signs and the drugs were being widely abused across the country. That time, the company paid fines totaling to more than six hundred million dollars. Although the damage had already been done, there is no doubt that the effects of opioid abuse were by far less at that time compared to the years that followed. After paying the find, the company had to go back to the drawing board so as to formulate another was of satiny in business.

The 2010 Reformulation
In 2010, Purdue Pharma reemerged with anew version of OxyContin saying that it was now much safer for use than the one that had lead t additions. Among the new features was that the pills could not be easily crushed. They were hard as a shell and they could also not be easily dissolved. In fact, it received an abuse-deterrent designation from FDA making it the first drug to get that recognition. This was also in line with a number of steps that had been effected by authorities across the states in order to curb the abuse of opioid. There also were tighter regulations imposed on drug clinics all in an effort to curb abuse.

The problem is that even though the 2010 reformulation was aimed at making the drugs safer, it has resulted in m ore deaths and more addictions that ever before. Currently, the figures are hard to live with and that is the reason why it is important to look at the effects of this new drug.


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