America’s Opiate Addiction: Leading Cause of Death for 50 and Under Folks
Opiates are a class of drugs which have been prevalent tin American society for a very long time, in the form of prescription medication. Painkillers account for the majority of opiates, with antidepressants coming second. While they may be seen as benign medicinal agents; they are responsible for an epidemic that has swept America like a drug-ridden wave, accounting for countless addictions and an alarmingly large number of deaths.
How the Opiate Addiction Epidemic Started
It all started in the late 90s and early 2000s, when Purdue Pharma came out with an opiate based medicine, in a campaign that lasted for the better part of 6 years. This then led to a nationwide launch of a drug, which was first advertised as a relief system for cancer based pains, but later on became the go-to formula for general pain relief as well.
The drug was very addictive, and the potential for it becoming a harmful substance that people would eventually begin to abuse was already very high. However, this was ignored by the company, and America was slowly but gradually made routinely addicted to opiates.
The result of all the widespread usage of opiates was an epidemic of misuse and addition, which would then lead to the daily deaths of approximately 91 people, according to the reports by the CDC. In addition to that, the number of people addicted to opiates was between 15 to 21 million, at the time of the report. To put it into perspective; more Americans died from opioid drug usage in the year 2016 than in the Vietnam War.
These are alarming statistics, especially when you consider the fact that these drugs are based on the same chemical which is the base of heroin, which is perhaps the most dangerous of all the recreational drugs, having claimed a huge number of lives over the years.
A Much Better Alternative
Admittedly, pain relieving medication is a necessity that cannot be ignored. However, one does need to resort to harmful substances such as opiods to soothe pain, be it of the physical or the depressive type. Medical marijuana, which has been medically proven to contain a whole host of medical benefits which make it a more than viable alternative to traditional opiate medication.
If curing people of opiate addiction and bringing new ones on to a better alternative, is the question, then cannabis is the answer, as it has proven to be for several years.
Will a solution be Implemented?
Now, while proponents of medical marijuana have been lobbying for years to get marijuana legalized, big pharma and those in power, who profit from the continued usage of opioid medication do not relent in their own lobbying, in order to maintain the huge market share they have, and the profits they make from the continued addictions and medical expenditure of those hundreds who flood into clinics every day.