Opioids are powerful pain medications that are prescribed or obtained illegally. Although opioids relieves pain, they are some of the most addictive drugs on earth. The drugs are so dangerous that the final out come is death or recovery. In 2015, 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses in the United States. Further, opioids are a nationwide health crisis. This article will inform you about the national opioid epidemic. Five hundred thousand people may die from opioids in the next ten years. This epidemic is similar to the HIV/AIDS crisis. The government and the drug companies fueled the opioid epidemic.
Opioids the Next Ten Years
First, five hundred thousand people may die from opioids in the next ten years. STAT News is a magazine that study drugs. STAT News worked with ten universities to project the impact of opioids over the next ten years in the United States. STAT News reported that “opioids will kill almost as many people as prostate and breast cancer in the next ten years.” If you are under the age of 50, you have a high chance of dying from an opioid overdose than anything else. In fact, almost 100 people die everyday from opioids. These drugs do not discriminate. They destroy families, careers, and relationships. This epidemic is probably worst than HIV/AIDS.
Opioids and HIV/AIDS
Next, this epidemic is similar to the HIV/AIDS crisis. According to STAT News, “opioids could kill nearly as many Americans in a decade as HIV/AIDS has killed since that epidemic began in the early 1980s.” The person with HIV/AIDS may die in a few days, months, or years. On the other hand, death from an opioid overdose is within minutes. In Dayton Ohio, the coroner, Dr. Kent Harshbarger ran out of space for the bodies due to opioids overdoses. Dr. Kent said, “I’m looking at 2,900 autopsies, and 2,000 of them overdoses.” In 2017, Louisville, Kentucky had 43 overdoses in a 24-hour period. In 2016, Philadelphia had 50 overdoses in a 24-hour period. The government and the drug companies play a role in the opioid epidemic.
Government and Drug Company Role
Then, the opioids epidemic was fueled by the government and the drug companies. The government failed to protect its citizens from these bad products. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved opioids. According to recent reports, the FDA “should have never approved opioids.” Drug companies did not tell the government or doctors that opioids are additive. Oxycodone has harsh withdrawal symptoms. Without long-term medical treatment, patients have a high chance of relapsing. After Oxycontin was approved in 1995, companies sold the drugs to untrained doctors. Then, opioids became widely available by prescription. Between 1995 and 2001, one company made $2.8 billion in sales. Drug company lobbyists were paying government officials to keep the drugs on the market.
Finally, in 2007, the FDA reached a settlement with one company for $634 million. The company’s officers were criminally charged, and no one went to jail. In 2017,The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “the numbers of deaths attributed to opioid abuse are grossly underestimated.” This epidemic was caused by the government and the drug companies. It is estimated that thousands of people will die from opioids within the next ten years. Sadly, thousands of lives have been ruined because of greed.
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