If we were to ask you which opioid painkiller has fueled the Opioid Crisis, which would you choose? Ultimately, the answers would be strikingly different. Some people might lay the blame on heroin and fentanyl, a medical painkiller that is 50 times stronger than morphine, which have killed civilians and cops alike. On the flipside, some of you might blame codeine and morphine for setting down the building blocks of modern opioids altogether. However, if we could agree on one drug that is to blame for America’s pain, it would be OxyContin, generally called oxycodone. Why is this the case? Not only is this drug partially legal, but it has also been responsible for a string of preventable deaths. Let’s take a closer look at the painful history of OxyContin, a flame of the Opioid Crisis.
Exposing the Crisis to All
Did you know that, originally, doctors were extremely cautious about prescribing opioids to patients? In fact, medical sources indicate that physicians only prescribed these potent drugs to the most extreme cases of pain (chronic or injury-induced) or palliative care. However, in the middle of the 20th century, Drs. Mortimer and Raymond Sackler changed this stigma surrounding legal painkillers, under the infamous umbrella of Purdue Pharma. In the end, their big hit was a slow-release pill called MS Contin, which distributed morphine for nearly an entire day.
However, one problem existed: morphine was still placed under a stigma as a drug used to treat incurable diseases or dangerous injuries. So what could be done?
OxyContin Saves…the Day?
After careful debate, Purdue Pharma developed a slow-release pill that distributed doses of oxycodone, another naturally-occurring opioid and an alternative to morphine. One pill would provide 12 hours of relief, but the company paid hordes of medical professionals to promote the pill as a non-addictive opioid. In 1996, OxyContin was released on the U.S. market and took our country by storm. Even The New Yorker commended the painkiller as a drug people could “start and stay with.”
Not the Cause, but a Source
So, if OxyContin is legal and doesn’t trigger multiple deaths like fentanyl, why is this drug such a problem? Critics have argued that Purdue Pharma’s promotion and marketing of opioids created an influx of use and abuse, which possibly triggered the deadly new wave of the crisis.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.