Opioid overdoses account for over 400,000 deaths between 1999 and 2018. Current statistics indicate that over 100 Americans die every day due to an opioid overdose. Fentanyl is a synthetic or artificially produced opioid available in the US.
It is also the drug responsible for over 30,000 overdose deaths in 2018. Fentanyl came about in the late 1950s and by the 1960s, healthcare facilities used it as an intravenous painkiller or anesthetic. It is 100 times more potent than morphine (a commonly used narcotic painkiller) and is used in cancer patients to manage severe pain.
The biggest issue is that fentanyl is illegally produced, sold, and bought in the US. It comes in tablet or powder forms and gets mixed with cocaine and heroin. As little as two milligrams, which is about the size of a few grains of sand, of fentanyl can lead to death.
Pharmaceutical Companies May Be Liable
There is a federal case in Ohio looking at whether drug companies can be held responsible for the opioid epidemic raging across our nation. This case will be a test for the whole pharmaceutical industry, as they face accusations of fueling this widespread epidemic by aggressively encouraging the use of painkillers.
These painkillers or opioids, which may be prescribed by physicians or obtained illegally, can make users severely addicted. Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical companies involved in the federal case are negotiating to avoid trial, so they may also avoid a verdict that would set a precedent for future similar trials.
Who Is Really to Blame?
In part, the opioid crisis is from the use of prescription painkillers gone awry. Pharmaceutical companies are becoming the focus of the epidemic, due to their promotion of prescribing painkillers for a wide variety of reasons.
Doctors may be overprescribing, and some patients may become addicted. Economically, this crisis is costing the US almost $80 billion per year in health care costs, prison system expenses, and productivity losses. Assigning blame is not the answer, but creating accountability and regulations at the federal level for prescribing and dispensing these drugs is essential, as is battling drug trafficking.
Opioid use is an omnipresent detriment to our society. Some people who become addicted to these substances do not even realize that their prescription medication has this negative power to influence and change their lives.
If you are battling an addiction to opioids, you are not alone, and there is hope for recovery and a healthy, happy future.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.