The highly controversial Purdue Pharma settlement announced Sept. 1st of 2021 is at an important time in the U.S. overdose crisis: 2020 was the most traumatic year that has ever been recorded in the history of medicine, Buy Oxycontin online with more than 93,000 Americans suffering from fatal overdoses from drugs. The growing epidemic of drug overdoses which is now more than 20 years old, has claimed the lives of around 840,000 people since. According to the latest estimates there are approximately 2.3 million people in the U.S. use heroin and 1.7 million people use prescription opioids, but without prescription.
Since the beginning of 2016 I’ve studied the issue of overdose in order to better understand the causes of it and its consequences. As a Sociologist I came to this specific area of study to find a sense of meaning, as each new year brought more funerals of former acquaintances and former classmates. What I found was a heightened risky environment for people who are addicted to drugs. It is often exacerbated by policies that weren’t grounded in research, nor by attitudes that harm the people who are affected.
How prohibition can lead to dangerous markets
Studies have shown that the market for illicit drugs changes according to demand and drug enforcement efforts.
One of the most obvious results of this increased demand is that the drug becomes more affordable as time passes. For instance, the costs of heroin and cocaine have dropped for years. Political economists have said that demand, when paired with globalization, enhances efficiency and competition. This makes it more difficult to obtain drugs that are available on the black market, which can reduce prices.
In the next, in reaction to prohibition on drugs, these substances become more potent. A stronger product packed in a smaller package is much easier to carry and harder to identify. It is no wonder that the American overdose epidemic is an example of the devastation caused by the interplay between prohibition and demands.
OxyContin was launched in 1996 and was promoted as a novel treatment for chronic pain. Purdue Pharma, its maker deliberately concealed the potential for addiction that the medication had. Since it is an opioid and a central nerve depression OxyContin can cause effects like heroin and morphine. This isn’t unexpected, as research has demonstrated that prescription patterns for opioids in 1999 and 2008 directly related with an increase in the number of deaths due to overdoses.
Oxycontin prescription-only medicines were extensively promoted to doctors of primary care as a reliable and secure method of reducing the pain of patients. Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Concerns about the dangers of overdoses with opioids was rising, and the prescribing practices of doctors were closely scrutinized. In 2010, Purdue Pharma replaced the original OxyContin with an “abuse deterrent” formulation that was more difficult to crush and inhale. This resulted in a rise of people addicted to OxyContin switching to heroin that was more affordable and easy to acquire. This resulted in an increase in fatal overdoses due to heroin and is usually called the second stage of the overdose crisis.
The growing demand for heroin paved the possibility of the introduction of fentanyl into the illicit U.S. markets for drugs. Fentanyl is a medicine used in medical settings to treat severe pain. It’s fifty times more potent than heroin. In terms of its effectiveness in trafficking and transportation, Fentanyl is a lot easier drug to transport and to sell than heroin. Fentanyl’s entry into the illicit market for drugs, especially when it was combined with heroin has led to a double and triple of deaths from overdoses in the period from 2012 until 2013.
Since its introduction the beginning of time, fentanyl has been component of the U.S. illegal drug market It’s commonly found in heroin, not just however cocaine MDMA often referred to Ecstasy methamphetamine, as well as counterfeit prescription drugs. This means that the majority of people aren’t aware of the strength or composition of the substances they’re taking.
As the problem of overdoses continues to grow, the communities of color especially, have witnessed an increase in fatal overdoses which are usually avoided. Recently, COVID-19 supply chain concerns caused people to use the most popular substances and a rise in deaths resulting from mixing substances.
A lot of times, people who use drugs are bombarded with messages that haven’t been confirmed by studies and can increase the chance of getting sick.
Health experts and community leaders urge people to get treatment and stress that the recovery process is feasible. However, approximately 70% of people who require treatment aren’t able receive it. The main obstacles to treatment include the expense of health care, difficulty in accessing treatment and stigma. Research has also shown that some individuals aren’t ready for treatment, or aren’t willing to be sober.
Addiction is usually thought of as the aim for those who misuse substances. However, studies suggest that addiction is a long-lasting mental illness, and relapses are very likely. People who are addicted drugs behave in a way that’s intermittent and can include periods of controlled and uncontrolled consumption as well as sobriety. It’s been established that the fear of arrest and shame may cause addicts to hide their drug use and perform actions that increase the risk of suffering a fatal overdose. The reason is that when people are drinking drugs by themselves have no one to call 911 or give CPR in the event of an accidental overdose.
Her brother David Restivo, 47 (left in the phone picture) has been killed in the line of heroin that contained Fentanyl. Her son, Jason Fisher Jr. 25, (right) died of cocaine laced with Fentanyl. Reading Eagle/MediaNews Group via Getty Images
To ensure the efficacy of therapy medically assisted therapies are considered to be the gold method for treating addiction issues that involve opioids, but they’re not commonly used. Buprenorphine is an opioid with a “ceiling effect,” meaning it doesn’t trigger the same level of intoxication as morphine or heroin however it does satisfy an addiction to opioid. Buprenorphine assists people in the process of overcoming addiction and decreases physical cravings. People who receive it are usually in an ideal situation to work, attend therapy, and have fun in their daily life.
However the availability of buprenorphine differs significantly based on location, and people who are of color are typically not offered the life-saving drug. Methadone is utilized as a treatment for addiction dependency from the 1950s onward, but it is difficult to get long-term. Researchers are now pointing out the effect of stigma on inadequate use of these substances.
Future-proof options that are better than the present
Public health officials as well as harm reduction advocates, and concerned citizens across America U.S. are working to develop safe injection facilities that permit individuals to consume drugs assisted by medical experts. These facilities aid in preventing fatal overdoses by ensuring a prompt and proper medical intervention and also provide the means to continue healthcare and addiction treatment. To ease the burden on hospitals, the availability of methadone for home use has been expanded by new methods which experts believe will last for quite a while.
For those who use substances that are effective, the quality and effectiveness of the substances they take aren’t often known. Drug-checking programs allow people to test the quality of their prescriptions for fentanyl from home with an easy test strip. The programs been gaining popularity recently with the support from the Federal government. States are trying to increase the availability of naloxone which is a nasal spray to reverse overdoses that is simple to use. Anyone who is a drug addict or has family members who are addicts are encouraged to attend a course on how to use naloxone, as well as carry the spray on the person they are with.
The people who support an increased security supply of drug and decriminalization assert that they have seen successes elsewhere. The treatment with heroin has been proven to be effective in keeping people out of the frenzied market for drugs and, consequently, reducing the likelihood of overdose. The treatment of heroin in Germany has helped patients improve their physical and mental health, while also drastically reducing the use of illegal drugs. In the beginning of 2000, Buy Oxycontin Portugal was able to eliminate all illegal substances because it was suffering the highest percentage of fatal overdoses across Western Europe. With the redirection of money from prohibition to treatment as well as education Portugal experienced a reduction in the use of drugs overall. It is now considered to have one of the nations with the lowest rate of fatal overdoses within Western Europe.
Americans have been among the largest users of drugs and have always among the highest levels of dependence on opioids and cocaine across the globe. Based on my own studies, I’ve observed that the majority of people see the use of drugs as a fight between sobriety and ending of their lives. But the rising number of fatal overdoses resulting in accidental deaths tell a more complex tale. Inability to acknowledge the evidence is costing more lives.