The Opioid Crisis: Painkillers and What the Doctors Won’t Tell You

Ever had pain that just didn’t go away with aspirin? Have you visited a doctor and asked for something to stop it? He probably prescribed you painkillers, and it helped a lot, but you have to be careful as doctors have been overprescribing drugs and misdiagnosing people for centuries to push brand-name drugs. They do this because they get paid by pharmaceutical companies, often causing drug epidemics.

Getting addicted to painkillers

We associate criminals with dealing drugs, but the biggest drug dealers have always been doctors. Hidden behind a mask of familiarity they wrongly prescribe drugs all the time. Why are physicians improperly prescribing painkillers? – Great question! The truth is a shade darker; ProPublica did an analysis and found a difference between doctors that receive payments prescribing opioids and those who don’t. Doctors who received payments prescribed brand-name medication, such as painkillers, more often.

You might be shaking your head right now, but you’ve read correctly. Doctors are the cause for a lot of heroin epidemics. Did you remember when the 90’s ended? You probably do because it brought new and exciting technology and the biggest heroin epidemic that has ever occurred in American history. In 2015 alone 33,000 Americans have died of opioid-related overdoses due to painkillers, and babies are getting born already addicted to the substance. That’s just horrific to think about.

How doctors and the Pharma Industry may turn us into drug addicts

When we think of someone addicted to heroin, we picture a “junkie” in the corner of a dark alley sweating profusely. We picture less educated people, which may be true in some instances, but doctors are the ones who do the real damage. Let’s say you are snowboarding and you fall after making a wrong turn, breaking your leg. The pain is unmanageable so you visit your doctor and ask for something that can help you endure said pain. He prescribes you Oxycodone, a common drug used in painkillers. The pain fades away, and it starts to feel better. The pain is gone, and after a month you don’t need it anymore.

You return to the doctor and tell him, but he writes you another script. You’re slowly getting addicted to the opioids, and whenever you don’t take them, you go through withdrawals. Which means you eventually start asking for more, but he stops writing scripts for those painkillers. You are still addicted and the withdrawals are horrible.

It’s hard to get unhooked once you get addicted to painkillers

Withdrawals include uncontrollable diarrhea, vomiting, and cold sweats and the mental side of things is just as awful. In the worst cases, you may start purchasing drugs from people on the streets. Sometimes it already goes wrong there. Street opioids are often cut with fentanyl or other drugs. You think you are taking Oxycodone, but in reality, you are taking fentanyl. Why fentanyl? – Because it’s cheaper and raises the margin of the dealer. If this doesn’t kill you, you’ll inevitably continue your way deeper down the rabbit hole. Oxycodone is expensive, especially purchasing it from the streets and your wallet is draining faster than your sanity, so you start buying heroin because it’s a cheaper way to fund your habit. It isn’t that bad, is it? Wrong!

People start sniffing or smoking it at first, but it wastes a lot of the substance. Then people eventually start injecting it because it’s cheaper. This may go on for a while. I don’t want to say individuals who use drugs are criminals, but some may succumb to commit petty theft to support their cravings. You never know how potent the heroin is, so eventually, you purchase heroine that’s too powerful. You inject it, overdose and die. Sometimes it gets cut with fentanyl, a more potent drug, and kills you too.

Narcan, the drug that offers a hard way out

There is a new antidote for opioids: Narcan. Narcan is injected into the nostrils and stops overdosing by blocking the receptors that opioids influence. It has saved a lot of lives. But there is a downside. Narcan causes individuals to experience withdrawals immediately. Also, after one dose of Narcan heroine’s effects may come back after a while because heroin has an afterlife.

After bringing someone back with Narcan always call 911. Read more about Narcan on their official website.

Save someone’s life today and help stop this evil epidemic from ruining our lives (or even the world). End the war on drugs and focus on harm reduction.

The next time a doctor tries to prescribe a brand-name vice, think twice. It’s not worth it to become addicted. Before taking a prescribed medication always read up on the effects and risks with WEBMD and other harm reduction sites. Also, if you do get withdrawals after taking pain medication, always tell your doctor. He has to help you. Stay safe out there.

About Kane Govaert

Full time college student by day, programmer by night, Kane lives off ramen noodles and slays his keyboard like an maniac for fun.

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