Few components like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, opium, and hydrocodone are derived from a singular plant. i.e.  Poppy plant.

If we look at its history, evidence suggests that this plant was used in South Asian regions. The use of this plant for the treatment of pain goes way back to 3400 B.C. Fast forward, in the early 1900s, studies suggest that opium and heroin have been commonly used for a number of pharmaceuticals preparations mainly for pain relief.

However, with the passage of time, few questions were raised about the addictive nature of this drug. This is the reason why U.S. Congress had to eventually ban its use in major pharmaceuticals. This ban, however, didn’t stop the pharmaceutical companies to pursue further research on this plant and to profit.

They worked religiously to devise ways to look for specific flagrant elements that can be beneficial for opioids. Many scientists found its potential to treat some kind of soreness with this plant based treatment.

 

 

Breakthrough in the early 1900s

Back in 1916, the preparation of a synthetic drug reached its final stages. This drug was termed as oxycodone and it was derived from a poppy plant. It was well received and was later approved by the US in 1939 to be medically used (look how many years it took). Another synthetic drug, Hydrocodone was also extracted from the poppy plant. It was later synthesized in 1920 (so much earlier). These two elements mentioned above were later termed as opioids.

The Purdue Pharma Fraud

One of the companies, Purdue Pharma, formed a long-term type of oxycodone. It was named OxyContin. In 1996, this was drug was marketed at a much higher level. The clinical trials of Oxycontin showed that it may increase addiction. Ignoring this, they lied to the physicians by assuring that this drug is not addictive.

Later in 2007, the company was fined by the FDA for conducting criminal consumer fraud. The company had to pay $634 million for knowingly lying about the addictive potential of Oxycontin. The alarming thing was that damage was already done to a much great level (even to this day) by igniting the opioid epidemic.

Signs of Opioid Abuse

Here are some of the main Signs of Opioid Abuse

  • The state of Euphoria
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dramatic Shift in Moods
  • Anxiety, Diarrhea, Headache
  • Insomnia

The treatment should depend on how long you have been using this as well as the last time you took the drug. You need to detox yourself from the drug by slowly getting yourself enrolled in a therapy with the guidance of a physician.

A Final Word

Today, there are 100 million Americans that suffer from chronic pain, more than ever before. The number of addicts and overdose deaths continues to escalate. Till this date, many doctors are of the view that opioids are still the most powerful weapon, especially in case of pain. However, given the scenario mentioned in the article, this drug needs to be checked and banned to avoid any future threat to human life.

References

drugabuse.com/library/opiate-abuse/

familydoctor.org/condition/opioid-addiction/

macllp.com/child-birth-anesthesia/what-are-advantages-and-disadvantages-intravenous-opioids