How Pharmaceutical Companies Indirectly caused the Current Opioid Drug Crisis
Most people believe that pharmaceutical companies make medicine that will treat people and their conditions. This assumption is the truth. However, pharmaceutical companies have indirectly caused millions of people to be hooked on their prescriptions. This wasn’t being done intentionally. The rise in drug abuse among patients had to do with the ingredients that are now being used to deal with more extreme medical issues. The information presented here will explain how pharmaceutical companies contributed to the drug epidemic in America.
Changes in Modern Drugs in the Late 90s
The problem of chronic pain started sometime in the 1990s. No one could figure out why so many people were dealing with a lot of chronic pain. Yes, a lot of pain that people were experiencing came from conditions, injuries or some other medical related reason. Still, there were people who were suffering through a lot of pain without any real reason for this ailment.
Medical professionals who specialized with pain and pain advocacy groups started to push for legislation that would include opioid-based treatments. Don’t forget the following point. Millions of people during the 90s started to develop pain but it was not a problem during that time. People suffered through the pain or treated it with the pain relieving drugs that were available.
The First Opioid American Drug Crisis of the 1800s
Pain specialists and advocacy groups discovered that opioids were very effective for pain. Back in the 1800s around the time of the Civil War, there was an opioid crisis that most people were not aware of. Many soldiers were given this substance to relieve their pain from wounds, injuries or PTSD and depression.
During the mid to late 1800s, doctors gave their patients shots of morphine. The morphine shots contained opioids. At least 1 in 200 early American people were hooked on this substance. Doctors unwisely gave patients morphine shots because it was a general cure-all for their chronic pain problems. This proved to be a huge mistake and some raised addiction concerns. The fact was that many doctors were too quick to give out morphine for any type of pain.
Also, morphine was unregulated and people could buy this substance wherever it was available. Drug dealers did not exist back then in the same sense as we experience them today. However, there were people who independently sold morphine for a profit. They could be considered the modern forerunners of today’s drug dealers. Still, society and the average person just didn’t view them as criminals. They were just people who could privately supply morphine to patients suffering from chronic pain.
Finally, the opioid crisis started to end in 1900. Medical professionals had created a new class of pain relieving drugs. More importantly, doctors were educated about when to prescribe drugs to patients and addiction was defined. Stricter regulations were also being developed that would keep prescription drug use under control.
Eventually, the 1800 opioid epidemic faded away into history. For at least 90 years, people would use opioid substances underground. They would not resurface again until pharmaceutical companies started to create a new generation of drugs involving this substance.
The Modern Drug Crises Slowly Begins in the early 2000s
By 2002 many opioid-based pain relieving drugs were available for use. Many doctors mistakenly started to prescribe them to patients without fully realizing the ramification of what they were doing. Patients were slowly being hooked on these drugs. It took some time before people started to see how the new batch of prescription drugs was affecting patients. Getting help with this problem was very difficult.
By 2006 people realized that something was not right. Patients were being strung out on their medications. Quite a few doctors were illegally prescribing these substances. Drug dealers started to notice that medical patients needed opioid-based drugs to help with their conditions. In turn, heroin addiction was quickly becoming a lucrative market. A treatment center cannot help many of these people.
Once 2010 rolled around, communities all over the country were being quietly overrun with heroin. Prescription drug treatment was in need all across the country. Many treatment centers did not offer after care program, which caused a revolving door of addicted individuals seeking drug rehab facilities. Millions of medmorical patients were purchasing illegal drugs because doctors were denying a lot of people their meds. Apparently, doctors started to catch on to the problem. If a physician was not illegally prescribing more drugs to their patients for a profit; then a physician was turning patients away because of drug abuse.
Drug Addiction in 2020 and Beyond
As of 2020, the current opioid crisis has not been resolved. Millions of American patients continue to abuse pharmaceutical drugs and they even give them away or sell them to other people who are experiencing pain. These individuals also help to fuel the current heroin epidemic in America. There is not a solution to this problem in sight. and many rehabs in Louisiana stay at capacity to help people in need.
Until America can figure out why so many people are suffering from unexplained chronic pain; this problem will not be resolved. The pharmaceutical companies will continue to indirectly contribute to addiction and a lot more people will probably become hooked on drugs.