Understanding Why Painkillers Become So Addictive

by | Apr 13, 2017 | Drug Addiction Treatment Center

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We have all heard about the huge problem of painkiller, or opiate addiction. The problem is getting worse and not better. Over 30,000 Americans died last year from drug overdoses, many of which involved opiate pain killers.

How Did This Problem Happen?

As unbelievable as it seems, the increased problem with opiate painkiller addiction started with some of the pharmaceutical companies. The drug company Purdue began making the drug called OxyContin in 1996. OxyContin is a form of the powerful opiate called Oxycodone. Doctors were told by drug company sales representatives that OxyContin was not addictive. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth and Oxycodone is extremely addictive. Doctors, sadly, believed the sales reps and began prescribing this drug to patients with chronic pain. Most patients did not end up addicted but many did become addicted. By 2001, OxyContin was the bestselling opiate-narcotic painkiller in the country and became a billion dollar a year money maker for Purdue pharmaceuticals.

How Easy is it to Overdose on OxyContin?

The way OxyContin was supposed to work was like on a time-release basis. That means, one OxyContin pill had a high dose of Oxycodone constructed in a way to release a little bit of the drug at a time, like over a twelve hour period of time. However, Purdue failed to make their pills “tamper proof.” This means that a person could/would crush the pills up and consume a high dose of Oxycodone all at once, instead of being spread out over twelve hours. That very high dose of Oxycodone all at once resulted in an overdose amount for a lot of folks who died as a result. In fact, depending on the strength of the pill, one single pill could result in the death of a naïve user.

Why Wasn’t This Controlled Better ?

The main reason why the situation described above was allowed to occur has to do with the very powerful lobbyists in Washington who work for the drug companies to try and influence the law makers. Because of the vast sums of money involved (over $1,000,000,000 per year); the lawmakers didn’t stand a fair chance of being able to avoid the influence of such powerful groups. In fact, today the pharmaceutical lobby spends more than any other similar such entity in Washington. The lobby group for drug companies is called Big Pharma and spends over three billion dollars per year to promote drugs. By the time that lawmakers realized what had happened with the overprescribing of opiate painkillers, it was already too late and millions were already addicted.

Are Drugs Like This Still Available?

The answer is YES, addictive painkillers are still available and prescribed everyday by doctors in America. If a person didn’t become addicted to Oxycodone, they could also have been prescribed another opiate painkiller containing the drug called Hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is the opiate contained in drugs such as Lortabs or Vicodin. If a person didn’t get Lortabs from a doctor, they could easily find the drug available on sold on the streets for about five dollars a pill. To this day, Lortabs are still very popular and are still available on the streets and the “black market” and millions take Lortabs on a daily basis.

What Can Be Done About a Painkiller Addiction?

If you or someone you know has an addiction to painkillers, help is available at The Drug and Alcohol Detox Clinic of South Mississippi. Call today: 601-261-9101. Or on the internet at: www.TheDrugandAlcholDetoxClinic.com There’s Still Hope! You can also follow them on Twitter for more information.

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